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Implementing a City Data Strategy: The Data for London Road trip starts here

On the 1st of March 2016 we published our City Data Market Strategy – a document that aims to be both technically competent and persuasive to a political and senior leadership audience in London about the need to actively integrate and mobilise all the ‘working parts’ of the city data economy.

Over the intervening weeks, we have listened to the wide variety of feedback we have received.  This is important.  We state clearly in “Data for London” that City Hall does not have all the answers and that we cannot create a fully participative city data economy all on our own –   a statement that implies that our strategy needs to evolve as we move to implementation.  It is through this exercise though and its supporting ‘priority actions’ that the GLA and its network of value-generating partners will ensure that all Londoners are able to derive maximum benefit that city data can deliver.  Quite simply, the prize is better data-driven urban services and the meaningful application of data analytics to drive better decision making for and in our communities and economy.

We have started working with some of our partners in the many complex and multi-faceted technical, policy and regulatory areas surrounding our City Data Economy. We have already started working on the Inventory & Assessment of GLA’s Technology Capability, and on the resources needed to transform London Datastore in a ‘convening hub’ for data-led innovation.

On the cultural and organisational aspects of the strategy, we have already with Nesta pitched – and gained significant support for – our proposal for joined-up data organisation, analysis and all-round capacity raising across the London Boroughs.  The City Data team has also worked on the WITAN project with Mastodon C to develop an integrated City modelling platform. Launched this year, it is now in use by the Boroughs to generate housing-linked population projections for the GLA’s School Roll Projection service.

As London grows, it is vital that the infrastructure to support the city is developed in a joined-up and forward-looking way. The GLA has also started working on the 2050 Infrastructure Plan project. Working with the major utility companies, regulators and other parties, we have built a system to share data and support

From this collaborative work we have put together an implementation plan which describes the steps the GLA and others need to take to deliver on all aspects of the “Data for London” strategy.  This plan clearly outlines links among tasks and priorities for action in the near, medium and long term.

The time has now come to share with you the highlights and main activities of our implementation plan, and to point to where we can work together in a collaborative and wholly open approach.

The Data for London Implementation Plan consists of a set of technical, policy, financial, market and organisational targets and actions identified in the early stages of our strategy development. These targets and actions have been distributed in six interrelated work streams:

  • WS1: Programme Governance
  • WS2: GLA Resources Management (Technology & Finance)
  • WS3: Requirements and Specifications
  • WS4: Business Models
  • WS5: Data Infrastructure Integration and Engineering
  • WS6: Strategy Monitoring and Evaluation

Each work stream encompasses different aspects of our strategy, ranging from governance arrangements to requirements specifications, business models and infrastructure integration. Given the complex nature of this strategy, this plan will be monitored and updating will be an ongoing process.

The activities of work stream 2 (GLA Resources Management) will be delivered by the GLA, and work stream 1 (WS1: Programme Governance) will be delivered mostly by the GLA. The other four work streams require a collaborative effort. In our collaborative effort we will firstly work on the City Data Monetisation Framework, Vision and Experts Workshops.

Your help is crucial if we are to successfully develop practical, citywide, scalable and reliable technologies and digital services in London, and put in place the right standards and develop new profitable business models around city data.

Our joint effort shall lead to improved and enhanced sharing of knowledge and collaboration that will be crucial to accelerate the overall development and implementation of our strategy into the marketplace.

For those of you already kind enough to have offered help, we will be reaching out to you imminently.  If you want to join us on our roadtrip to deliver “Data for London”, do please get in touch with either Andrew Collinge or Larissa Suzuki <>.