The former ODI Leeds (now Open Innovations), working with the Data City, has launched a proof-of-concept visualisation to help people to find – and understand – the role of different data organisations in the UK.
The project was inspired by the ODI who wanted to discover which organisations are collecting, sharing or selling data. The team also wanted to explore which were using the data to provide valuable services, insights and digital tools.
The initial results found 10,059 unique registered companies, with 1167 enablers, 1599 holders/stewards, and 8001 users.
The project found an overconcentration of these data organisations in London, compared to both the distribution of the UK’s adult population and the UK business population. It also found that organisations working with the government on data tend to be concentrated close to where the government is. In the UK, for example, this is London.
In its project commentary, ODI Leeds says that the UK: ‘has no excellent way to understand where businesses operate or what they do’. Although ICO registration does record this, these organisations are wide-spread across sectors.
It adds: ‘This project has shown the potential of machine learning to supplement manual identification of companies working with data to more completely quantify and more thoroughly understand the UK’s data landscape. In all cases, whether trying to identify organisations working in the UK data landscape or those working most strongly to meet Sustainable Development Goals, this project has reinforced the importance of rigorous thinking, inviting public challenge and acting upon it, and being transparent during the process of applying machine learning to new problems.’
Explore the results here: open-innovations.org/projects/uk-data-landscape/visualisation