Data Challenges

City Hall will soon announce a series of City Data Challenges. These will be vitally important in helping us deliver on the promise of open data for the capital. Their aim will be to use data analytics to uncover new insight and ultimately new approaches to service delivery or meeting city challenges, or to use data in the creation of web-based apps which genuinely improve the lives of Londoners. How, for example, could aggregated crowd data be used to help London Government make better decisions about the city.

We have our own ideas, some of which feature below, but we want you – people who understand data and its potential applications; people who have an intimate knowledge of London and its communities – to come forward with your own potential lines of inquiry.

The City Data Team is currently looking at how approaches such as those taken by Nesta and the ODI can be applied in our city setting in a way that is rewarding for all and draws on the best data talents and creative thinkers in London and indeed beyond.

London Data Challenge Process

Building on the successful approach applied by the Open Data Institute / Nesta we will use the following steps to narrow down broad subject areas into specific pieces of work:

Our Focus This Year

Crowd-sourced data to manage population health

Adult Social Care


Big data in health is a new and exciting field. The enormous promise is clear from the commercial applications which are now springing up. But for all the promise, practical impediments such as data privacy still exist. And the wearable technology that creates the personal data still sits out of reach of those often most likely to suffer from serious and costly long-term conditions such as diabetes.

How would we design a city health community which generates meaningful self-tracking data for the individual and produces a body of lifestyle and health data of genuine value for a system which increasingly asks people to take charge of their own healthcare?

What Future for Generation Y?

Generation Y


Generation Y were born between 1980 and 2000. By 2025, they will make up 75% of the workforce.

They are viewed as the generation set to live through the best and the worst of times. On the one hand they are the tech-literate generation generating city value through tech start-ups and open minds. On the other, theirs is a life in which the major pre-occupations are accessing the property ladder, paying down student debt whilst worrying over the pension, and all while thinking how to succeed in a city labour market in which machine learning and global connections intensify competition.

How do we take city service data, anonymised live data which charts their daily movements, and use it to better understand how they live their lives and what the implications are for city service providers and planners.

Better Ways to Deliver Adult Social Care in London

Digital Health

The Care Act sets out key proposals for funding Adult Social Care.

Key changes include the introduction of a cap for care-related costs, changes to capital thresholds and the level of savings that are taken into account (potentially reducing income for local authorities). Many people currently paying for their own care will receive public funding and when people have reached the cap for care costs, subsequent care will be provided free (potentially increasing the cost to local authorities).

Modelling the impact of the changes at household type and city level will require the bringing together and analysis of several data sources including demographic projections, income and house value data and data which illustrates the current profile of homecare clients. A city-wide analysis could be valuable in pointing out where and when stresses in the system are going to occur, and opening up ways in which these could be alleviated.