What is the National Information Infrastructure?

Usable data are needed to provide digital services, and drive public service transformation and social and economic growth. Public sector organisation publish over 23000 datasets on the data.gov.uk portal.  But it is almost impossible to determine

  • which data are essential to describe a place, organisation, event, group of people.
  • which data refer to the same organisation, event, incidence, group of people, so that they can be linked, compared and analysed.  

To be able to rely on the data and make better use of them, we need a framework and structure to govern and link key data components and datasets together and enable better access and use of the data in delivering public services.

Two papers have recently been published to define and explain the reasons and requirements for a so called National Information Infrastructure (NII).

The Cabinet Office published a paper to define the NII as a reliable and authoritative framework for a list of strategically important data. The paper defines the principles and components of the data but says little to explain why an NII is important to governance, business and citizen. http://data.gov.uk/consultation/national-information-infrastructure-prototype-document

The Open Data User Group (ODUG) explains the reasons why we need an NII and describes the benefits of an NII to reap the value of data helping to deliver better and more efficient services, to provide evidence and to hold government to account.  http://data.gov.uk/library/odug-national-information-infrastructure-nii

Both together provide a valuable read what the NII is and why it is needed to better structure and govern the release of core data sources that underpin better data use and Big Data analytics to help the public sector to transform services and drive economic and social growth.

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