Smart Devolution

January 15, 2016 by Eddie Copeland, Cameron Scott

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Elected mayors should be required to set up an Office of Data Analytics comprising of small, expert teams tasked with using public and privately held data to create smarter and more productive cities. A new paper, Smart Devolution, by leading think tank Policy Exchange says that most cities have vast quantities of data that if accessed and used effectively could help improve public services, optimise transport routes, support the growth of small businesses and even prevent cycling accidents. The report highlights how every UK city should use the additional powers they receive from Whitehall to replicate New York by employing a small team of data experts to collect and collate information from a range of sources, including councils, emergency services, voluntary organisations, mobile phone networks and payment systems. The data teams will provide city mayors with a great opportunity to break down the silos that exist between local authorities and public sector bodies when it comes to unlocking information that could save money and improve the standard of living for the public.