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Updated 4 July 2013

Updated to reflect the closure of the Data Strategy Board on 28 June 2013.
4 July 2013 21:40
Updated to reflect the government response to the Shakespeare Review
14 June 2013 15:28
Added meeting papers for 24 April 2013.
24 May 2013 09:16
Added links to the 'Shakespeare Review of Public Sector Information' and related independent market assessment.
15 May 2013 09:30
Updated news on a feasibility review for a national addressing database on 28 February 2013.
28 February 2013 17:11
Agenda and note of Data Strategy Board meeting of 23 January 2013 attached
12 February 2013 10:47
Added 28 Nov DSB Meeting Agenda and Action Record as attachments
14 December 2012 16:08
New announcement 14 Dec
14 December 2012 12:32
First published.
12 December 2012 16:14

Data Strategy Board update

The Data Strategy Board closed on 28 June 2013.

The government will create a new business-focused board from the Public Sector Transparency Board and the Data Strategy Board to lead delivery on opening up public sector information. The new board will ensure that UK data businesses have an even stronger voice in exploiting the potential of public sector information (PSI).

This follows publication on 14 June 2013 of the ‘Government response to the Shakespeare review’. The review emphasised the significant potential of PSI and open data to transform public services and create new opportunities for UK companies. The review showed that taking advantage of these opportunities will require a high-level strategic focus.

As part of the transition to the new board, the Data Strategy mailbox will close at the end of July 2013.

Role of the board

The DSB, chaired by Stephan Shakespeare, is a ministerial advisory board that advises Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills, and Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office.

The board’s remit is to create maximum value, for businesses and people across the UK, from data held by the Public Data Group (PDG) members (Ordnance Survey, Met Office, Land Registry, Companies House) and beyond.

On behalf of the public sector the DSB will:

  • steer the management of contracts for weather and geographic information
  • consider how data from the DSB might generate economic growth
  • work to ensure that ministers have appropriate advice to enable:
    • delivery of open data from the PDG
    • provision of data and services to the public sector UK general public, including services which contribute to the protection of life, property and UK national infrastructure
    • making access to data easier for all users
    • increasing public access to free data over time, subject to affordability and value for money


The DSB is led by Stephen Shakespeare the independent chair, and includes data users from outside the public sector, including representatives of commercial re-users and the Open Data community.

The board also incorporates existing public sector customer groups, who will continue to provide sector expertise around the commissioning of weather services and geographic information for the public sector. The Public Weather Service Customer Group, the Geographic Information Group and the Open Data User Group will become sub-committees of the DSB.

There is 1 public sector seat remaining for the chair to appoint.

Board members

  • Stephan Shakespeare(Chair)
  • Nick Baldwin - Public Weather Service Customer Group (PWSCG)
  • Sir Mark Walport - Government Chief Scientific Adviser
  • Michael Coughlin - Local Government Association (LGA)
  • John Dodds - Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Head of DSB Secretariat)
  • Sir Ian Magee CB - Geographic Information Customer Group
  • Heather Savory - Government’s Open Data User Group (ODUG)
  • Steve Thomas - Experian Plc
  • Chris Yiu - Policy Exchange
  • Bill Roberts - Swirrl IT Ltd
  • Professor Mark McGurk - GKT Dental Institute

DSB member biographies

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request a different format.

To request this document in an alternative format such as braille, audio or a different file type please email quoting your address, telephone number along with the title of the publication ("DSB member biographies").

The Shakespeare review

The Shakespeare review led by Stephan Shakespeare, Chair of the Data Strategy Board, is an independent review of public sector information (PSI). There are Draft terms of reference for this independent review. The Review explores the growth opportunities of PSI, and how to widen access to, the wealth of information held by the public sector.

The ‘Shakespeare review’ report was published on 15 May 2013 and outlines 9 recommendations for how PSI can be better used to improve government services and unlock economic growth. The report is supported by an independent Market Assessment of PSI, produced by Deloitte as the evidence base for the review.

On 14 June 2013 we published the Government Response to the Shakespeare Review. At the same time we published:

Following publication of the response to the Shakespeare Review, Business Minister Matthew Hancock, said:

The UK is at the forefront of a data revolution. Open data supports growth, and drives improvement in public services. Our response to the Shakespeare Review sets out our determination to take the release of public sector information to the next level.

In particular a Data Capability Strategy, a new business focused Board and a clearer definition of open data will help to boost business and economic growth. This will encourage innovation and help to transform public services to be more efficient and effective.

We want to be a trailblazer for open government to the rest of the world, which is why transparency is at the heart of the UK G8 Presidency to improve accountability. We will set the standards so that British businesses are poised to benefit from the economic advantages.


Terms of reference

Meeting papers

DSB meeting 24 April 2013: agenda

DSB meeting 24 April 2013: action record

Older papers

DSB meeting 25 February 2013: agenda

Open Data Investments

On 14 December 2012, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts announced a further investment in open data through an expansion of the Technology Strategy Board’s Innovation Voucher programme. This new development will make Innovation Vouchers available to SMEs who want to use open data to help commercialise their ideas and develop new products and prototypes.

The vouchers will form part of the 2nd round of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) Innovation Voucher programme.

On 12 December 2012, Matthew Hancock and Francis Maude announced 3 new complementary investments in open data designed to increase the flow of open data and to support companies working to create innovative new products from the re-use of public data.

See the press notice New funding to accelerate benefits of open data. The 3 new investments are:

  • a new Data Strategy Board Breakthrough Fund
  • a new Open Data Immersion Programme
  • upgrades to the format in which Ordnance Survey (OS) data can be downloaded to make it easier, more accurate and more flexible for companies to use

All the measures demonstrate the government’s commitment to open up public data to stimulate economic growth, unlock new commercial opportunities, and develop more transparent and efficient services.

New complementary investments: frequently asked questions

National addressing database feasibility review

The Open Data User Group published a paper ‘The case for an open national address dataset’ in November 2012. The Data Strategy Board made a recommendation to minsters for further analysis of the feasibility of introducing a free national address database, before any decision could be made.

With ministerial agreement, the review will be undertaken by BIS government officials and assisted by external consultant Katalysis. This will start immediately, and the analysis phase will be complete by spring 2013.