NTT DATA and the Civil Service launch the Civil Service Data Challenge

The Civil Service Data Challenge will be presented in a competition format akin to Dragon’s Den, with teams of Civil Service volunteers developing ideas and pitching them to judges at semi-final and final events.

After the final round of the competition is over, the idea judged to be the best will receive both technical advice and development support from partner NTT DATA UK, to the value of £50,000, and the backing of top civil servants.

The judges of the competition are set to include:

  • Alex Chisholm, COO of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office;
  • Julia Lopez MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office;
  • Henry de Zoete, Cabinet Office non-executive board member and 2018 Dragon’s Den winner, who with his partner Will Hodson secured the best cash-to-equity deal in the show’s history for their business, Look After My Bills;
  • Vicki Chauhan, head of public sector at NTT DATA UK.

The programme aims to draw on civil servants’ ideas for how government could make better use of data – finding new ways to boost efficiency, improve public services and strengthen policymaking.

Civil servants have until the 14th May 2021 to put forward ideas or volunteer to join a team, with the eight most promising ideas will be taken forward by these teams, following a longlisting process.

From here, ideas will be tested for their viability, with potential benefits, obstacles and scope for delivery being assessed.

As well as the Civil Service and NTT DATA UK, the competition is receiving further backing from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the Government Digital Service, and specialist publishers Global Government Forum.

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“Since arriving at the Cabinet Office last year, I’ve found civil servants full of ideas on how to realise the government’s objectives,” said Julia Lopez MP.

“Now we want to apply that inventiveness and expertise to one of the most fundamental challenges facing the civil service: that of realising the potential of our huge data assets.”

Vicki Chauhan, head of public sector at NTT DATA UK, commented: “The Civil Service Data Challenge is a fantastic platform for civil servants to pitch their data ideas to a panel of senior leaders from across the civil service and industry.

“Putting data at the heart of everything the government does will help improve policy and decision making, and ultimately drive improvements to citizen services.”

Urging civil servants to take part, Civil Service COO Alex Chisholm said: “We hope the ideas generated through the Civil Service Data Challenge will lead to real improvements in staff tools and public services – but just as important are the benefits for participating civil servants, who’ll gain new skills, experiences and contacts.

“So please send in your ideas and volunteer to get involved, helping us to make better use of data in government.”

Civil servants who wish to take part in the Civil Service Data Challenge can put forward their ideas or volunteer to join a team here.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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