Case study: The value of sharing data to address sector challenges

Tue Mar 3, 2020
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How two private sector organisations are sharing data to better forecast the generation of electricity from solar energy sources

In this case study we look at how smart-energy management software company, PassivSystems, is working with Open Climate Fix, a not-for-profit research and development lab that focuses on tackling climate change, to improve forecasting for the generation of electricity from solar energy sources.

This case study is part of a project by the Open Data Institute exploring the value of sharing data in the private sector. When sharing data, businesses face a range of challenges. A significant barrier is a lack of evidence showing how increasing access to data can create business value – for example, by enabling new business models, increasing efficiency or reducing costs.

To help address this, we have been documenting real-world examples of how the private sector is creating value from increasing access to data.

Key findings

  • Businesses in any sector face challenges which cannot be solved by a single organisation working alone. Collaboration within the sector, often through increasing access to data, is key to solving these challenges.
  • Individually, companies often don’t have all the data necessary to address a problem. Working together to collect, share and use data can help to grow markets, improve decision making and adapt to changing environments.
  • PassivSystems is sharing data with Open Climate Fix to help tackle a major challenge in the UK energy sector around balancing the supply and demand of electricity in the face of a shift towards the generation of renewable energy.
  • Better forecasting for solar energy generation would help electricity and gas utility companies like National Grid to balance the supply and demand of electricity in the UK in a more efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way.
  • Improvements in forecasting will also help energy suppliers and companies like PassivSystems to provide customers with better and more affordable products and services.

Many businesses are embracing the sharing of data, and are seeing tangible benefits for their organisations and across their entire sectors. Josh D’Addario, Consultant at the ODI, has been talking to these organisations and researching the benefits. Josh shares his top seven reasons why businesses should be sharing data.

Read article

The ODI is engaging with private-sector companies to show how sharing data can positively impact the bottom line.

We are already seeing open approaches to data happening in sectors such as physical activity, banking, and pharmaceuticals.

This project seeks to demonstrate the business value of sharing data to a sector, network or individual business, looking at how an organisation might benefit in terms of innovation, network capabilities, and brand positioning.

Find out more

Get in touch with our team to discuss the potential for your organisation to get more from data, join our events and follow our research



We’re currently developing a toolkit to help people working in the private sector to plan their data sharing strategies. It is due to be created by the end of March, so please share your details below to receive the toolkit when it’s ready.