What are the biggest issues for government data leaders?

Government Data Show word cloud summary

As the curtain falls on the Government Data Show until March next year, what are our initial reflections on the conversations and case studies we’ve explored with our line-up of public sector digital leaders? We thought it would be interesting to run some of the key conversations into a word cloud and see what the data told us! It's a distillation of the contributions of 648 attendees over 14+ hours of presentations, panel discussions and Q&As.

Unsurprisingly, ‘Data’ topped the charts with an impressive 763 mentions, but equally striking were the repeated references to People (334), Citizens (290) and Interoperability (231).

So as well as generating a rather fetching word cloud, what could we deduce from this hot take on the conversations? 

During the pandemic, there has been a sharpened focus in government organisations on end users’ needs. While the efforts of HMRC in standing up entirely new projects like the furlough scheme have grabbed attention, across the entire public sector there’s been a relentless focus on delivering better outcomes for citizens.

Within that drive to do more digitally, we’ve heard repeatedly during the two weeks of the Data Show just how much our digital leaders value the issues of trust, consent and transparency. While the public may have been unsure about how and why the government collects their data, the people in those digital teams are committed to treating it with the utmost integrity.

The prevalence of ‘Interoperability’ in the panel discussions speaks to an exciting spirit of collaboration and data-sharing ahead. While ever-mindful of privacy and consent issues, public sector organisations are exploring exciting new opportunities to share and layer datasets to generate deeper insights. 

The 50+ case studies we heard during the conference were informative and inspirational, but we have a sense that our government data leaders are only just getting started... we’ll be there to share their stories.

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