Our well being depends on economic prosperity, which in turn depends upon exploiting our investment in data, and on our skills as a society to understand and use data. There are four things the government should do to improve data
1. The Government should uphold its commitment to increase investment in our science and research base, to keep pace with other leading scientific nations. Alongside this, the government must maintain the UK’s reputation as a destination for students and research professionals to live and work. Skills and knowledge from our public research system should be shared for public and private benefit
2. To make the most progress on innovation, data from both public and private research should be as open as possible. We need to make further progress on opening up government data, which can be a rich source of innovation at relatively little cost, particularly if it is effectively marked with standard codes for geography, time and other attributes
3. In an era of new types of data, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the wider Government Statistical Service must be given adequate resources
to retain and improve statistical series and to develop new ways of making data easily accessible to business and policymakers, educational institutions and civil society.
4. To prepare for the data economy we need to skill up the nation. We need to train teachers from primary school through to university lecturers to encourage data literacy in young people from an early age. Basic data handling and quantitative skills should be an integral part of the taught curriculum. In particular, we should ensure that all students learn to handle and interpret real data using technology