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Scotland, United Kingdom

Improve Data Use (SCO0008)



Action Plan: Scotland Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active


Lead Institution: Chief Statistician, Scottish Government Digital Health and Care, Scottish Government COSLA

Support Institution(s): State actors involved Scottish Government National Records of Scotland NHS ISD other public sector data producers The Data Lab Other partners could be included as this work evolves CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups Active partners could include: Open Government Network Involve Other partners to be included as this work evolves

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Health, Open Data, Public Service Delivery, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review


Commitment 3: Improvements to the way information and data are used
December 2018 – 2020 Lead implementing agency/actor Chief Statistician, Scottish Government Digital Health and Care, Scottish Government COSLA Commitment description What is the public problem that the commitment will address? The public sector holds much information on Scotland, its institutions and communities. The website was launched in 2016 to provide free and open access to Scotland’s official statistics data, and currently holds over 200 datasets covering a wide range of topics and organisations. However, much more data remains to be made easily and consistently accessible. What is the commitment? We will make more of our rich data public sector data open for social and economic good, and to help people understand how our country is changing. The Scottish Government will continue to work in partnership across the public sector to expand the range of data hosted on By 2020, it will include all data underpinning our National Performance Framework and be the ’open as standard’ mechanism for publishing all of Scotland’s official statistics data, where appropriate. We will develop the platform further to host more types of data, including public sector management information such as financial data. Building upon and beyond, we will develop innovative ways to make Scotland’s data relevant and accessible to a wide range of users, including infographics and interactive apps. To better understand Scotland’s communities, we will increase the number of datasets that provide information at a local level. We will promote the use of this information in local area profiles to aid local decision-making. We will ensure open data is accompanied by the appropriate metadata and explanations to help people understand and reuse it. We recognise that giving greater access to information alone is not sufficient. The ability to find and filter databases and datasets, identify and isolate noteworthy information from raw data, and turn
this into insights to inform decision making: all remain out of reach for most citizens. Thus, data literacy must be developed in order to foster citizen empowerment through the use of data. We will work with representatives from civil society and other government agencies, to consider how we can develop wider data literacy in society. This will include workshops to discuss the idea of developing a programme of data champions or the appointment of a Scottish Data Ombudsman. Access to information – Public Health and Care Scotland’s Digital Health & Care Strategy, published in April 2018, has a vision of the people of Scotland having access to their information to help maintain and improve their health and wellbeing, and that frontline staff and carers can also access the information they need to deliver high quality care and support. To enable this, the Scottish Government and COSLA have committed in the Strategy to involve the public in developing a consistent national approach to the use of health and care information, including clear and appropriate choices for individuals about how their information will be used and how and when it will be shared. The strategy makes it clear that people expect their information to be available to them. The Strategy further recognises the need to build and maintain trust with greater transparency over how and why such information is used for wider public or societal benefit. The technical delivery of this ambition is being taken forward through the development of a national digital health & care platform, which is in part designed to ‘deliver the digital capability for citizens to access and update information about their health & wellbeing, including their records and from personal monitoring, and to interact with services.’ Participative engagement (involving all potential users) is a key requirement, with the Scottish Approach to Service Design being embedded to ensure true codesign of the platform. Alongside that, there is a need to effectively engage with the public to build the necessary trust and to explore the opportunities for greater citizen-led data sharing. To this end, we are launching two innovation challenge with NESTA in 2018/19 around building trust, including understanding what gaining trust means and generating an understanding of the value of sharing data, and on making (any) data useful to citizens for their health and wellbeing.
How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem? The actions described in this commitment will: • increase the amount of Scotland’s official statistics published as open data • increase the amount of data published at a geographic level that describes communities • make data more easily findable, understandable, and reusable • communicate the insights from this data to a non-technical audience • plan potential future work on data literacy Why is this commitment relevant to Open Government Partnership values? This commitment deals primarily with improving public access to information: • by increasing the amount of data in the public domain, particularly geographically disaggregated data • by improving the accessibility of data that is already in the public domain • by making it easier for anyone to combine and reuse statistical information The specific details of the commitment largely focus on the release of data. However, we recognise that a lack of data literacy skills is often a barrier to accessing insights contained in datasets. To mitigate this, and thus broaden access to information, we will use publicly available data to power apps, infographics, and area profiles, which can be accessed by a wider audience. Additional information The Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy describes how we will support change and innovation through the effective use of data. Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Start Date End Date Publish all datasets underpinning the National Performance Framework on December 2018 December 2019 Assess the suitability of all official statistics in the Scottish Government’s publication schedule for publication on December 2018 December 2019
Increase the number of datasets available for small areas (such as data zone and intermediate zone levels) December 2018 August 2020 Develop as a tool for publishing public sector management information December 2018 August 2019 Use open data to create publicly available infographics and interactive apps. December 2018 August 2020 Use small area data to produce publicly available local area profiles December 2018 August 2020 Review and improve metadata associated with all open datasets December 2018 December 2019 Workshops to consider developing wider data literacy in society December 2018 December 2019 In line with the Digital Health and Care Strategy, we will develop an approach with the people of Scotland to ensure their health and care information is accessed and shared in an open and transparent manner in the pursuit of excellent care at the point of contact, further building trust in our health and care services Winter 2018 2020
Contact information Name of responsible person from implementing agency Doreen Grove Title, Department Head of Open Government, Ingage, Scottish Government Email and Phone 07767343230 Lead: Roger Halliday - Chief Statistician Other Actors Involved State actors involved • Scottish Government • National Records of Scotland • NHS ISD other public sector data producers • The Data Lab Other partners could be included as this work evolves CSOs, private sector, multilaterals, working groups • Active partners could include: • Open Government Network • Involve • Other partners to be included as this work evolves

Scotland, United Kingdom's Commitments

  1. Financial and Performance Transparency

    SCO0006, 2018, Fiscal Transparency

  2. Open Policy Making and Participation in Service Delivery

    SCO0007, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Improve Data Use

    SCO0008, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Public Service Accountability

    SCO0009, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  5. Transparency and Participation

    SCO0010, 2018, Citizenship and Immigration

  6. Financial Transparency

    SCO0001, 2017, E-Government

  7. Measuring Scotland’S Progress

    SCO0002, 2017, Capacity Building

  8. Deliver a Fairer Scotland

    SCO0003, 2017, Marginalized Communities

  9. Participatory Budgeting (Also Known as Community Choices in Scotland)

    SCO0004, 2017, Capacity Building

  10. Increasing Participation

    SCO0005, 2017, Capacity Building