Launched at the inaugural conference hosted by the University of Cambridge in 2015, Data for Policy is an independent initiative to promote interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral discussion between all stakeholders with interest in potentials of Data Science research to enhance government operations and policy-making. The inaugural conference “Policy-making in the Big Data Era: Opportunities and Challenges” hosted around 90 top-level presentations and over 170 delegates from UK and EU government bodies, prestigious national and international universities, non-profit institutions, and major industrial stakeholders.

Data for Policy 2015 – downloads:

Information Pack (including the programme)
Book of Abstracts

There is also a special issue of Policy & Internet including selected papers from the first conference with publication date scheduled in early 2017.

Some Reflections from the Inaugural Conference: 

“It is the first time we have managed to get together as a really good group of UK and international experts to talk about not just how to use big data to drive policy but why you should do it and what the pitfalls are…”  Stian Westlake, Executive Director, NESTA

“From a glance down all of the attendee list, they are most of the key organisations you would expect from this sort of event – right across civil society organisations, academic institutions, and also government institutions…”  Paul Meller, Head of Data Resources, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

“It is the first time I have had the opportunity to take part in this type of discussion – getting a sense of where political thinking is and where academic thinking is… Forums like this can provide a degree of thought leadership that is necessary in this area…”  John Sheridan, Head of Legislation Services, UK National Archives

I would like to see more people involved in this space, between deep analytical world, computational sciences world, and those working on government analytics and government policy making. For instance the question of ethics we have been touching on today – I think this is not just a question for government people or for the social scientists involved in this, but perhaps also for those mathematicians working on some of the deep analytic work… These are not separate worlds anymore. So the connections between these disciplines and between these types of practitioners are only had by this type of conferences…” Paul Maltby, Head of Data, Government Digital Service (GDS)


Support our work: 

Data for Policy is a fully independent not-for-profit initiative relying on funds generated through events and projects. We also welcome donations – so if you like our work and want to support us, please consider donating directly via Bank Transfer to:

Data for Policy
National Westminster Bank (NatWest)
Account Number: 28066901
Sort Code: 56-00-31

and for international transfers

IBAN: GB51NWBK56003128066901

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We are grateful to all who support us.

Kind regards,

Data for Policy Team