Data scientists and key policymakers discuss data-driven governance

6-7 September 2017 – London– With the increasing role of data and algorithms in policy making, leading data experts and international policy makers met to debate and exchange ideas about data-driven governance in a two-day international conference at Westminster Conference Centre (1VS) in London.

This year’s conference highlighted “Government by Algorithm?” as its main theme, hosting a number of presentations on data-driven government and algorithmic decision-making with wide-ranging implications for issues from health and crime prevention, to crisis management and childcare.

Welcoming over 200 attendees from many different countries, the UK Chief Scientific Adviser for National Security, Anthony Finkelstein, introduced the opening session which focused on data and the transformation of policy making.  Presenters included:

  • Mariana Kotzeva, Acting Director General of Eurostat, the European Commission
  • Heather Savory, Director General Data Capability at the Office for National Statistics
  • Daniel Zeichner, Member of Parliament for Cambridge and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary group on Data Analytics

Data for Policy founder Dr Zeynep Engin said “Data for Policy brings together data experts from across academia, the public sector and industry, to influence and shape the course of the data revolution. We are now in our third year and I am truly humbled by the overwhelming interest and support from across the world with submissions from 35 countries and a diverse mix of speakers. We have an exciting programme ahead under the theme of ‘Government by Algorithm’ and I look forward to continuing this work afterwards.”

The conference provided a unique opportunity for networking as the leading international scholars, policy makers, international institutions and private sector organisations from all over the world participated.

The Data for Policy 2017 conference was the third in a series of prestigious annual international conferences exploring the theories and applications of data science for government policy and research. Following the success of the previous conferences at the University of Cambridge, the UK Government Data Science Partnership (Go-Science, GDS, ONS)  hosted this year’s conference at the Westminster Conference Centre.


The full programme is available here