City Data Analytics Programme

The City Data Analytics Programme is a virtual hub co-ordinated by the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) City Intelligence Team in City Hall. It develops and supports data collaborations across public services in London and forms part of our Smart London Together work.

Support that is being provided

Individual public organisations across London have been using data analytics for many years and some are increasingly developing their own data science capacity. Benefits of this approach include:

  • the ability to progress beyond reporting and dashboards to provide forecasts of service demand
  • linking large, complex and regularly changing datasets together, giving a more holistic view
  • discovering patterns and trends that are not immediately obvious or widely known

The City Data Analytics Programme will provide the additional resources to accelerate this process and to support collaborative projects. Four types of support have been identified (based on the findings of the London Office of Data Analytics (LODA) pilot with NESTA and the work of other Offices of Data Analytics):

  1. A core resource of data science expertise to be used in individual data science exercises, as well as to contribute to the development of data science proposals. This will be provided by:
    • Data scientists from within the GLA’s staff
    • Staff from the London boroughs (by agreement) and the wider public sector
    • Academic partners

We will also hold a wider directory of organisations and suitably qualified data scientists, all of whom are committed to taking part in data science projects

  1. We will provide a central project management facility, so that each project is amply supported by data and city policy-literate staff.
    • A key piece of work will be to take initial ideas, challenges and opportunities and fully develop them to the point where analysis can take place
    • Prioritisation of projects will take place through the Board (see Governance below)
    • Project management services include a set of templates and tools to develop project outlines, scope out data requirements, and deliver project reporting
    • Where possible, we will publish a list of proposed projects along with the their current status (use the toll below to navigate this list of projects)

  1. On technical support, the London DataStore is available as an open data publishing platform, as well as a ‘convening point’ where ideas for data science projects in London are exposed, explored and formed into viable projects. The City DataStore is our secure data sharing platform which allows for the safe exchange and use of sensitive forms of “city data”. Technical support will also encompass work led by the GLA to develop and promote open shared standards for data management and use
  2. Legal support and information governance advice will be available through a joint project with London Fire Brigade. Co-ordination efficiency gains and uniformity of approach can be found in a growing library of data sharing agreements catalogued in the Information Sharing Gateway, privacy impact assessments and other documentation which will help multiple public services and their partners share data to high ethical standards

Vision and objectives

Created to support the development, commissioning and implementation of data science projects across different public sector organisations within the Greater London area, the City Data Analytics Programme is a collaborative and convening institution in which data science projects and ideas are formed, tested, executed and shared. Key objectives of the Programme are to test the policy or service impact of data science, show that data sharing is possible and has tangible benefits, develop data sharing protocols that will be useful in the long term, identify barriers to collaborative working and develop solutions, contributing to the development of a culture of data-sharing within London. As part of its objectives, City Data Analytics Programme also supports the analytical capacity and technical development of borough data officers through a ‘City Data Academy’, ensuring that the data science talent within London’s public services teams is used to maximum effect, and that capacity and knowledge from the wider data ecosystem is applied in a way that delivers benefits to all.

Origins, funding and wider reading

The London Office for Technology & Innovation (currently known as ‘LOTI’) is a new city-wide function which will build common capability & opportunity to collaborate and scale digital & smart technology across London’s public services. Jointly developed by the Mayor, London Councils and a core group of London boroughs, LOTI will formally launch in April 2019. LOTI and other Smarter London Together actions will build capacity through a series of workstreams including the City Data Analytics Programme.

The City Data Analytics Programme is built on connections made through the Borough Data Partnership (and previous pan-London data agreements). It was formally set up by the Mayor of London in 2017 following a pilot with Nesta and several London boroughs throughout 2016-17. We are part of a loose wider network of Offices of Data Analytics. The City Data Analytics Programme has now secured  investment (including gifts in kind) from City Hall, the London Fire Brigade, the Centre for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in London, and Sharing Cities, a Horizon 2020 EU-funded project.


Inspired by the model of the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) in New York, the City Data Analytics Programme Project Board consists of representation from across the public sector in London alongside academia. The board includes:

  • Theo Blackwell, London CDO (Chair)
  • Paul Hodgson and Vivienne Avery, GLA Intelligence Unit representatives
  • Dr Simon Miles, Director of CUSP London (Centre for Urban Science and Progress) at King’s College
  • Guy Ware, Director of Finance, Performance and Procurement, London Councils
  • Representation from one or two of the boroughs will also be sought on a rotating basis

Because of the vast possibilities of topics to address through data science, as well as the type, size and motivations of the organisations able to contribute to individual exercises, it is anticipated that within a broad framework, each City Data Analytics Programme project will be organised around its own individual model and will focus on predictive analytics.

The GLA team comprises of 3.0 FTE per week, drawn from the broader City Intelligence Unit.