Government launches the National Data Strategy Forum

Government launches the National Data Strategy Forum

The government has announced the establishment of a new National Data Strategy Forum, bringing together key voices from industry, privacy groups and academia to help implement the UK’s National Data Strategy. The Forum will be co-chaired by Minister for Media and Data John Whittingdale and techUK’s Sue Daley.

The National Data Strategy was published last September as a consultation, setting out a framework to maximise the power of responsible data use across the UK. The government has just published a response that largely confirms that maintaining a high level of public support for data use will be key to unlocking its power and that a trustworthy data regime that maintains high data protection standards is required.

Next steps are to deliver the Strategy’s five key missions as priority areas of action:

  • Monitoring – the government will monitor the delivery of the actions committed to in the September publication.
  • Governance – the government will develop a governance framework identifying clear lines of accountability for implementation. A cross-Whitehall National Data Strategy Implementation Steering Group will assume ultimate accountability for the strategy’s delivery.
  • Evaluation – the government will scope and assess the most effective metrics for evaluating the success of its interventions.
  • Engagement – the creation of the National Data Strategy Forum will ensure openness and collaboration. The respondees to the consultation highlighted the need to have a two-way conversation between central and local/regional governments, to develop common standards, share knowledge and expertise and improve local-level access to data held by the central government.

Alongside this, DCMS has published a research report Quantifying the UK Data Skills Gap, which seeks to assess the supply of data skills in relation to fast increasing demand in the UK. The research found that there is significant demand for data skills with UK companies recruiting for 178,000 to 234,000 roles requiring hard data skills. Almost half of businesses (48%) are recruiting for roles that require hard data skills but under half (46%) have struggled to recruit for these roles over the last 2 years.