Harnessing the data explosion for public good

Day 1
15 Sep 2017

Chair’s welcoming remarks

Jessica Figueras, Vice-Chair of the UK Cyber Security Council, welcomes all delegates, sponsors, and speakers to our conference and sets out the day’s agenda.

Jessica Figueras
Jessica Figueras
UK Cyber Security Council

Government Keynote – Public Sector Data

A senior representative from the English central government will set out the current state of play for data across various  departments and outline plans for activity as the public sector moves through 2022 and beyond.

Data for Government

Data is now the number one asset for public sector organisations wishing to transform outcomes for citizens, and there is huge excitement about the possibilities. Government has been increasingly active in furthering the use of data and AI, and consulting on a new pro-innovation regulatory framework.

But there’s trepidation too, with civil society organisations raising increasingly loud alarm bells over bias, privacy and security. It’s also not clear whether all public bodies have the infrastructure, resources and most importantly the skills to take advantage of the new approaches.


Rosalie Marshall
Rosalie Marshall
Digital, Data and Technology Strategy Lead
Home Office

Tomas Sanchez Lopez
Tomas Sanchez Lopez
Chief Data Architect
Office for National Statistics (ONS)


Government employees enter public service to do impactful work that improves the lives of citizens and drives their nation forward. Despite those aspirations, many are met with document-heavy, manual processes, outdated technology, and administrative work that slows them down. On the other side of this are citizens applying for the services they require, who are often presented with friction-filled processes that steal hours of their time.

In this session we will explore how intelligent automation solutions can help the UK public sector automate data-centric, mission-critical processes, enabling employees to provide better, faster service.

– The status of automation in the UK public sector institutions
– What is intelligent automation and how it works
– Common use cases within public sector
– Best practices and tips on how to upgrade your organisation’s data-centric processes

Nay Odutola
Nay Odutola

Towards explainable AI

Many organisations are exploring the potential of machine learning to support decision-making – but public bodies are held to a higher standard than their private sector counterparts. Citizens expect to be treated fairly, and taxpayers expect accountability and transparency. Those using new approaches in service delivery or policymaking will increasingly be expected to explain their assumptions and reasoning, but not all techniques produce explainable outputs.

So what do public leaders need to know about explainable AI? What’s expected, and what questions should you be asking your technical teams and suppliers?

11:10 - 11:30

Morning Refreshment Break

Government Data – Case study

The presentation of a UK Government data case study from a contributor.

Safe data sharing: Is synthetic data a solution?

Some of the most promising areas for data innovation in government and the wider public sector are also some of the most sensitive. Developing targeted interventions, optimising medical treatments, and preventing fraud and security breaches increasingly mean processing large volumes of personally identifiable data. That data must be kept safe and used appropriately – a challenge that’s even greater when the data crosses organisational boundaries.

So what are the options when it comes to safe data sharing? And is anonymisation, using synthetic data, a solution?

Dr Shruti Kohli
Dr Shruti Kohli
Lead Data Scientist (Innovation Lab)
DWP Digital

Open Data for social impact

The UK has an especially vibrant open data ecosystem, with public bodies, charities and others developing innovative tools based on public data to support a wide range of social impact missions.

We’ll hear from some of those organisations about the opportunities, the challenges, and what you need to know before embarking on your own open data initiative.

13:00 - 13:50

Lunch networking break

Data in Action

Insight from some leading data experts from the public and private sectors.

Is public sector data working for women?

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on how disease outcomes can be significantly different for men and women. And health is not the only area where that happens: from pensions and saving to crime and employment, men and women have notably and consistently different experiences.

How are public bodies approaching the challenge of collecting and using data for better policy and decision-making?

UK Government data case study

The presentation of a UK Government data case study from a contributor.

What you need to know about childrens data

Public bodies have a special responsibility to safeguard children, and data relating to children is collected for a wide range of statutory and other purposes. Now the regulatory framework is beginning to tighten, with the introduction of the Age Appropriate Design Code, and the UK’s new online safety regime starting to take shape. What issues do public bodies need to consider in relation to children’s data? And how might new technology contribute to children’s safety and wellbeing in the UK?

Alessandra Fassio
Alessandra Fassio
Advocacy and Relations Manager
Data for Children Collaborative with UNICEF

Chair’s Summary

Our chair, Jessica Figueras, summarises the sessions that you have heard today and closes the conference

Jessica Figueras
Jessica Figueras
UK Cyber Security Council