The glossary lays out some additional information on key terms that are used throughout the Smart Data Innovation Guidebook

Smart Data

  • The secure sharing of customer data with authorised third-party providers (TPPs) upon the customer's request

Open Banking

  • Smart Data scheme in the banking sector

  • This was the first Smart Data initiative, now often used as a benchmark for others

  • Covers current accounts and credit accounts as well as some savings accounts

  • Overseen by the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE)

Open Finance

  • Smart Data scheme in the wider finance sector, evolved from Open Banking

  • Covers areas such as savings, mortgages, consumer credit, investments and insurance

  • Led by the FCA

Open Energy

  • Smart Data scheme in the energy sector

  • Led by Ofgem

  • Also see 'Midata for Energy'

Open Communications

  • Smart Data scheme in the communications sector

  • Led by Ofcom


Data infrastructure

  • Data assets, standards, technologies, policies, organisations and communities that steward and contribute

Data assets

  • Useful or valuable things related to data. Usually:

    • Identifiers - labels to physical or digital objects and services

    • Registers - Lists of reference data and metadata

    • Datasets - From dedicated research/analysis or from monitoring

Data standards

  • Reusable agreements that help to steward data more consistently

    • Technical: file formats, taxonomies, schemas

    • Non-technical: language, processes

Data technologies

  • Hardware and software used in the collection, access, use and sharing of data

Data policies

  • Specified ways of working with data, usually mandatory


Data spectrum

  • The range of data accessibility, from closed to shared to open

Data intermediary

  • A variety of different activities and governance models for organisations that facilitate greater access to or sharing of data

Data institution

  • Organisations that steward data on behalf of others, often towards public, educational or charitable aims

Data ecosystem

  • A full set of data suppliers, stewards and users, as well as the supporting infrastructure


Application Programming Interface (API)

  • A standardised means by which computers can communicate with each other

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

  • Intended to harmonise data privacy laws in the EU

  • Applies to the processing of personal data by organisations in the EU, regardless of whether the processing takes place in the EU or not

  • Applies to the processing of personal data about individuals who are in the EU by an organisation not established in the EU, if it offers goods or services within EU

Open source

  • The practice of having freely available knowledge about a certain design or implementation, often iterated by volunteers

Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET)

  • Any technical method that protects the privacy or confidentiality of sensitive information

Sandbox environment

  • Testing environment separate from the production environment that enables approved participants to build an understanding of tools, standards and security requirements.

Synthetic data

  • Data generated by simulation, rather than measurement


Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2)

  • Part of the Open Banking regulations

Midata for Energy

  • An Open Energy initiative

  • Launched in mid-2018, with main governance from Ofgem, and other governmental connections within BEIS, DCMS, Government Digital Services, and the Cabinet Office

  • Paused since 2021, pending a review of all energy sector programmes


  • Launched in 2016, a community-led initiative that aims to address the problem of inactivity in the UK by helping people get active using open data

  • This is not a Smart Data scheme

Data Pitch

  • A completed three-year EU-funded open innovation programme that explored how data shared by organisations - from government bodies to multinational corporations - could be used by startups and innovators to tackle specific company and sector challenges, while generating direct benefit to them

  • This was not a Smart Data scheme

Modernising Energy Data Access

  • A competition to support projects that use data with the aim to enable a decarbonised, decentralised and digitised energy future

Modernising Energy Data Applications

  • A competition focused on the development of data applications that address the needs of users and developers of local energy systems

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