Arup and Oliver Wyman working on London Data Store

31 July 2020 Consultancy.uk

Consultants from Oliver Wyman and Arup have been working with the London Data Commission to create a data hub in the UK’s capital city. The London Data Store is a free and open data-sharing portal where anyone can access data relating to the capital.

Governments across the world are fast becoming aware of major new possibilities offered by digital tools, and are trying to keep up with digital expectations driven by the best consumer brands in the world. To solve this problem governments are coming to consider themselves a platform for open-innovation, allowing a wider digital community build the actual tools, interfaces and experiences they want and need. 

The London Data Store is a key example of this platform-government approach. The Greater London Authority created the London Data Store, a public portal for city data, which provides over 700 datasets to help citizens, business owners, researchers and developers understand the city and develop solutions to London’s problems. The sharing this information has resulted in hundreds of user-created applications for a wide range of purposes, and resulted in a number of new businesses being created.

Arup and Oliver Wyman working on London Data Store

The project has already enabled important collaboration between the public and private sector data specialists responding to a series of issues. Most notably, this included the recent work to plan how London could ensure the city’s inhabitants returned to work safely following the coronavirus lockdown. Information from the London Data Store was subsequently used by the Mayor’s London Strategic Coordinating Group and Public Health England, London’s chief digital officer, Theo Blackwell, and his team have defined ambitious ways of using data to guide their response via a heat-map of movement around the city.

Access to this information represents a game-changer for the city, according to London First’s director of connectivity and competitiveness, David Lutton. In comments published by Computer.com, he said the collaboration would allow for “more nuanced planning, targeted communications and, as we move into a recovery, a better understanding of the extent to which London is returning to normal.”

In order to build the foundations of the public sector focused London Data Store, and to develop a framework for a world-leading urban data platform, the Greater London Authority contracted London First, Microsoft and consultants from the Oliver Wyman Forum and Arup. The project subsequently brought together senior technologists, analysts and decision-makers to discuss how business can best support London’s regional authorities.

Oliver Wyman helps organisations capitalise on the opportunities created by the digitisation of business, and anticipate and neutralise strategic threats. Engineering consultancy Arup has meanwhile has previously helped the Greater London Authority to develop the Smart London Plan, a component of which was about understanding the digital ecosystem from the Greater London Authority’s perspective, providing opportunities for the city’s population to get involved in finding solutions to London’s challenges, using digital techniques and technologies.


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