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Crucial for Government to understand the business need for open data

Ahead of our Snacks & Sips speed-networking event on open data with the Cabinet Office's Transparency Team, the team share with techUK how important it is for Government to properly understand the business need for open data and how engaging with the market will help them achieve their objectives.

The UK government has made huge progress in the last few years with our open data agenda, led by the Cabinet Office. We're proud of, and grateful to, the number of interested parties who advise us, challenge us and hold us to account and we have numerous mechanisms for people to do this. The Open Data User Group (ODUG), for example, does a great job of drawing on the experience and expertise of the user community. The Open Data Institute (ODI) provides invaluable support to start-ups and other enterprises building open data businesses. And the Public Sector Transparency Board provides a strategic vision to unite all departments and public sector bodies around open data and transparency. However there is still a gap in our engagement with the private sector which we are seeking to address. We are keen to know more about how businesses view our open data agenda and engage this wider group in how our work develops.

Our priority is to understand the needs of businesses; how open data from government is being used and to create a mechanism whereby data can be prioritised for release, over and above what is already being done. In turn we want businesses to support our agenda and help us understand more about the impact of open data on creating an environment for economic opportunity.

In partnership with techUK we're keen to bring together people in industry who are using data or facing challenges that data could solve, alongside public servants who are in a similar position. We'd like all participants to make a pitch about the work that they're doing and what their open data challenge is. The idea is to give from both government and industry, the chance to identify opportunities and start thinking a bit more innovatively about how they might be working together.

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