What is this guidebook for?

A quick overview of Smart Data, the Smart Data working group, and why this guidebook was created.

Smart Data is the secure sharing of customer data with authorised third-party providers (TPPs), upon the customer’s request. These providers then use this data to provide innovative services for the consumer or business user, such as automatic switching or better account management.

The Smart Data working group (SDWG) was announced in the 'Next steps for Smart Data' report, to progress Smart Data initiatives, reduce duplication and maximise the combined potential of these initiatives. The SDWG is chaired by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and includes representatives from regulators and other relevant government departments, with observers such as ODI and the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI).

The Smart Data working group aims to:

  • Support the development and delivery of smart data infrastructure and standards for the benefit of consumers, particularly vulnerable consumers

  • Where appropriate encourage commonality or consistency of approach across smart Data initiatives to enable interoperability and cross-sector innovations

  • Improve efficiency by reducing duplication across smart data initiatives and re-using assets or resources from prior smart-data initiatives

As an observer to the Smart Data working group, the Open Data Institute (ODI) has been asked and closely supported by BEIS to conduct research into innovation in Smart Data, and data innovation more broadly, in order to learn lessons from previous work in Smart Data and related fields. These lessons will help inform the development of Smart Data both as a cross-sector innovation model, and within individual sectors and Smart Data schemes.

Funding innovation in Smart Data is critical to achieving the potential economic and societal benefits. Without the government building strong data infrastructure for small organisations to access and resourcing the exploration of new business models, the data economy can become concentrated around a few big actors and consumer outcomes may suffer.

The Smart Data Innovation Guidebook provides insights, actionable recommendations, relevant tools, and a high level road map to help the implementation of Smart Data in practice.

Smart Data can create value for our society, economy, and planet, and by learning from previous and existing innovation methods, we can ensure we are realising the value from Smart Data sooner and for a larger swathe of society.

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