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The Open Data Institute connects, equips

and inspires people around the world to
innovate with data.

ODI board
Gavin Starks, Baroness Martha Lane Fox, Martin Tisné, Neelie Kroes,
Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Richard Marsh, Rob Bryan, Roger Hampson,
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
ODI team and associates
Adam Hinchliff, Adam Sven Johnston, Adrian Philpott, Alexander Leon,
Alison Walters, Amanda Smith, Andrea Cox, Anna Scott, Anneza Pitsialis,
Benjamin Cave, Briony Phillips, Carl Rodrigues, Carlina George, Beth Cooper,
Clara Lewis, Daniel Appelquist, David Tarrant, Dawn Duhaney, Elizabeth Carolan,
Ellen Broad, Emeafa Doe, Emilia Kacprzak, Emily Vacher, Emma Galal,
Emma Thwaites, Emma Truswell, Fiona Smith, Gavin Starks, Georgia Phillips,
Hannah Attwood-Foulds, Hannah Redler, Iraia Monteagudo, Jack Hardinges,
Jade Croucher, James Smith, Jamie Fawcett, Jeni Tennison, Joe Packman,
Julie Freeman, Julie McMahon, Kateryna Onyiligwu, Kathryn Corrick,
Keren Bowman, Laura Davis, Laura Koesten, Leigh Dodds, Lewis Kille,
Louise Burke, Mandy Costello, Maria Demetriou, Mel Norman,
Orsorla De Marco, Patrice John-Baptiste, Patrik Wagner, Peter Wells,
Phil Lang, Rachel Leech, Richard Norris, Richard Stirling, Sam Pikesley,
Samantha Haines, Simon Bullmore, Simone Giles, Stefan Janusz, Steffica
Warwick, Stephanie Dunstan, Stuart Harrison, Sumika Sakanishi,
Thomas Tharakan, Tom Heath, Ulrich Atz, William Gerry



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Open Data Institute · 65 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4JE · Company 08030289
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View from the founders
The Open Data Institute goes from strength to strength.
As founders, we are enormously proud of its achievements
and convinced of its fundamental role in realising the potential
of the web of data.
Along with highlighting open data’s value in enabling open
innovation, the ODI has helped many to understand its place
within the spectrum of data – from closed to shared to open –
and its crucial role in the strong data infrastructure
we need for our society.
As the global appetite for realising the economic benefits
of open data grows, we are pleased to see finance emerge as
an ODI theme. The move to develop an Open Banking Standard
across the sector will bring huge benefits to consumers,
regulators and industry.
We’ve also seen how open data can help support democracy,
with the ODI supporting partners in Burkina Faso to achieve
the country’s first free and fair election for nearly 30 years, using
real-time open results data.
This year we were delighted to be joined by two new ODI board
members, Neelie Kroes and Martha Lane Fox. Both are digital
pioneers who bring huge experience and important perspectives
to the organisation.
Looking ahead, part of our challenge is to grow and develop.
We must sustain our unique mix of public and private funding in
order to unlock the value of open data and open innovation for
everyone. This will mean that we need to keep on demonstrating
the value latent in data of all types, and show how a flourishing
data ecosystem can be achieved.
Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee

ODI Awards, July 2015, London

View from the CEO
We have seen a substantial transformation of the data landscape
and of the ODI itself during our third year. Our 2015 report
highlights many tangible impacts that our partners, members,
startups and community have achieved with data over the year.



Burkina Faso used open data to achieve its first free and fair
election for nearly 30 years. Arup embraced ODI Startups to
build an innovative open supplier ecosystem. Syngenta opened
its product data and Defra committed to open up 8,000 datasets
by summer 2016.
To address confusion around the language of data, we created
a Data Spectrum and Data Lexicon (pp.10 –13), and broadened
our work to span the whole spectrum, from closed to shared to
open, with a focus on treating data as infrastructure (p.14).



We worked to connect UK data innovators with government.
We delivered a framework to HM Treasury for open standards
in banking (p.22). We helped set the agenda for open data in
agriculture and nutrition (p.18) and explored what truly open
cities would look like (p.16).
This was all driven by the commitment of the 3,000+ people we’ve
trained, the 1,000+ people in our ODI Member community (p.30),
the 25+ ODI Nodes in 20 countries (p.28), the dozens of ODI
Startups building products and services (p.34) and a dedicated
team at ODI HQ providing key insights, energy and support.
The impact for the ODI is that we have refined our mission:
we connect, equip and inspire people around the world to
innovate with data. We have a remit to drive open innovation,
working across the Data Spectrum, with the expertise you would
expect from us as an institute.
Gavin Starks

ODI Startups in the
open development ecosystem




Highlights of 2015
Our first ODI Showcase
From developing data-driven support for mental health to
bringing citizen science to Parliament, we helped four projects
to achieve positive impacts with open data.

ODI total income = £4.9M
ODI total costs = £ 5.1M
ODI Startups value unlocked = £8 M

Celebrating Generation Open
Our 2015 ODI Summit gathered over 600 delegates and 80
speakers to celebrate Gen O and open innovation, from MPs
to teenage app developers.
Exhibiting our Data as Culture art programme
Our Data as Culture theme ‘Data Anthropologies’ placed people
at the centre of emerging data landscapes. Works by artists in
residence Thomson & Craighead and Natasha Caruana stimulated
debate around networks, censorship, love and betrayal.
A potential ten-fold return on investment
For every £1 invested in our Open Data Challenge Series,
£5 –10 will be added back to the UK economy, according to
a PwC report.
Certifying 150,000 open datasets, and counting
We’ve awarded more Open Data Certificates than ever this year,
with localised certificates for 10 countries across Europe, North
America and Asia and an auto-certification tool.
Building a global network for open data leaders
Our Open Data Leaders Network convened leaders of
government open data initiatives around the world to discuss
common challenges, and share knowledge and ideas.


Jointly leading the Open Banking Working Group
We joined banking, open data and FinTech professionals to
create a framework for an Open Banking Standard, and explore
how it can benefit consumers, regulators and industry.

(Above) ODI 2015 financials (subject to audit)
(Below) Lifetime value unlocked

Even more highlights of 2015
ODI Startups generating over £8m in sales and investments
Since its launch, over 30 startups joined our ODI Startup
programme, employing over 200 people. In 2015 we recorded
a cumulative value of over £12m in contracts and investments

Income split

Expanding our ODI Node network
We welcomed 11 new nodes from Galway to Brasilia, Riyadh to
Aberdeen. ODI Nodes collectively generated £265k, trained more
than 230 people and reached over 14,500 people through
training, events and collaboration.
Holding a bootcamp for Malaysian startups
A cohort of Malaysian startups who use open data attended the
ODI, learning to visualise data, develop ideas and pitch together
as a team.
Supporting democratic elections in Burkina Faso
We saw how open data can help underpin democracy as we
supported partners in Burkina Faso to achieve and fair elections,
using real-time open results data.
Proving open data means business
One of our impact stories analysed 270 businesses unlocking
value by using, publishing and investing in open data, generating
more than £92bn in annual revenue between them.
Training people around the world
We reached over 3,500 people trained worldwide and certified
more ODI Registered Trainers than ever, helping to ensure our
global learning activities have a local voice.
Boosting innovation in agriculture, from farm to fork
We helped set the agenda for open data in agriculture and
nutrition and convened leaders from industry, government
and civil society to discuss the positive role of data in future.

ODI 2015 financials (subject to audit)

Global Network 37%
Innovation Unit 59%
Core 4%

What is open data?
Open data is data that is licensed by organisations, businesses
and individuals for anyone to access, use and share. Just like
the World Wide Web, open data has helped to stimulate
unprecedented innovation and collaboration around the world.
People everywhere are realising the value of open data: publishing,
using, reusing and combining it find more efficient ways to work,
develop innovative products and create better links with their
communities. Easy access to data enables organisations, citizens
and researchers to improve their decision making.
Open data initiatives can create savings and boost economies.
PwC predicts the Open Data Challenge Series programme will
result in a potential 10x return, generating up to £10.8m for the
UK economy. Our ‘Open data means business’ research
identified UK companies with a combined annual turnover of over
£92bn using or producing open data, including Transport for
London, which saw a 58:1 return on investment by releasing
transport data and helped create global technology leaders like
Open data initiatives can also help people to solve social and
environmental challenges.
They can bridge gaps in mental health provision, with data-driven
apps to assist us in accessing support, while open data on
diverse areas – from weather to market prices – can boost
innovation and promote transparency in agriculture and
nutrition, from farm to fork.
To help simplify the language around data, we’ve created
a Data Lexicon and Data Spectrum diagram (described on p.12)
to show the different ways in which data can be shared.

ODI Theme: Agriculture and nutrition

The Data Spectrum and Data Lexicon

Small / Medium / Big data

The language used to describe data can be confusing. Using a
common language to talk about data is important so that we all
understand what it is, how we can use it and how it affects us.
This year, we have been working on common, simple
definitions to describe the way we use data, for a Data Lexicon.
Some definitions in the lexicon include:
Data that is closed: data that can only be accessed by its
subject, owner or holder.
Data that is shared:
Named access – data that is shared only with named people
or organisations.
Group-based access – data that available to specific groups
who meet certain criteria.
Public access – data that is available to anyone under terms
and conditions that are not ‘open’.

Personal / Commercial / Government data






contract +

b contract

Via authentication

Licence that
llimits us





Twitter fe





Data that is open: data that anyone can access, use and share.
For data to be considered ‘open’, it must:
• be accessible, which usually means published on the Web
• be available in a machine-readable format
• have a licence that permits anyone to access, use and share
it commercially and non-commercially
Depending on the choices that we make as individuals or as
a society, different pieces of personal, commercial and
government data may be closed, shared or published openly.
This is shown in our Data Spectrum visualisation.
The Data Spectrum and Data Lexicon have been powerful tools
for debating and articulating how we collect, access and share
data. We will expand our Data Lexicon in 2016.

The Data Spectrum

“As a bank, we wrestle with how
best to use and publish data.
The Data Spectrum helps guide
those debates and allows us to
make more informed choices.”
Matt Hammerstein, Barclays
Co-chair, Open Banking Working Group

ODI Themes: Data infrastructure
Data is infrastructure. It underpins transparency, accountability,
public services, business innovation and civil society.
Data connects multiple sectors. Data such as statistics,
maps and real-time sensor readings help us to make decisions,
build services and gain insights.
We believe that the cities, countries and continents that build
the best and most open data infrastructure will have a significant
advantage in the 21st-century global economy. The more open
the data infrastructure, the more value it will create. But it is
crucial that we protect data that needs to be kept private, just
as it is crucial that we openly publish data that should be open
for everyone to use – because both privacy and openness
help create trust.
We have worked to understand and promote data
infrastructure across all our programmes.
We have researched economic impacts of open data,
investigated blockchain technology and helped our clients
derive value from data.
We have started a global debate, worked to improve
government’s position as a guardian of our data infrastructure
and connected data innovators to help unlock economic,
social and environmental value.
In 2016 we will deepen our understanding of data economies
and explore how to protect personal data. We will suggest
ways to legislate for data infrastructure and open data, and help
private and public sector organisations to strengthen them for
the benefit of all.


ODI Themes: Open cities
A resilient urban environment is far more than the sum of its
physical infrastructure. Much as the Web has transformed
our digital lives, opening up vast potential for new types
of interaction, and our physical spaces and systems are
becoming part of a connected conversation.
We believe a smart city is about much more than technology;
a smart city is an open city. Cities thrive when anyone can
access, use and share their services.
Whether on housing availability, live train times or the quality
of the air, open data can help us to understand, interact with
and make best use of our cities.
This year we explored what a truly open city would look like.
In April we hosted an ODI Futures event with Arup to discuss
open data, networks and culture.
Our ODI Startup network grew to include new businesses
with a focus on open cities, including Thingful, Open Sensors,
Open Utility and ViziCities.
In September we launched an Open Data for Smart Cities
training course, and we continue to work closely with
ODI Members, like G4C and Turner & Townsend, to highlight
new opportunities for urban planners, entrepreneurs and
city residents.
In 2016 we will expand our open cities focus, through
partnerships, industry forums, training and impact assessments,
to understand open cities and the business case to support
their growth.


ODI Training Discovery Day,
November 2015, Arup, London

ODI Themes: Agriculture and nutrition
A major theme of our work is on harnessing the value of data
to inform decision making, boost innovation and promote
transparency in agriculture and nutrition, from farm to fork.
As a founding member of the Global Open Data for Agriculture
and Nutrition initiative, we worked with its secretariat to produce
a report setting the agenda for open data in agriculture and
nutrition, showcasing examples of impact around the world and
its future potential.
We helped the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural
Affairs (Defra) to bring data into the heart of the organisation and
towards realising its goal to release 8,000 datasets by June
2016. Defra hosted our ODI Futures event on agriculture, which
brought together leaders from industry, government and civil
society, welcomed by the Secretary of State Liz Truss, to discuss
the role of data in the future of agriculture and nutrition.
One of our corporate partners, Syngenta, has been a sector
pioneer in the release of open data. Its team began, with our
support, an ambitious data release programme, starting with its
Global Growth Plan.
Earlier in the year one of the challenges we set in our Open Data
Challenge Series with Nesta was focused on food. It primed
the development of a range of innovative applications related to
food and nutrition that used open data, such as Vitalfootprint,
which helps consumers to make better, personalised food
In 2016 we will extend the scope of our work to help drive
standards, develop training and provide practical support to
promote open data for agriculture and nutrition.

Open data for agriculture and nutrition

ODI Themes: Global development
Global development initiatives strive to reduce poverty and
inequality, and improve living conditions in communities
around the world.
In 2015, policymakers, donors and other members of the
international community agreed on ambitious new Sustainable
Development Goals, based on a uniquely open, global process.
We see open data as a critical tool in helping to meet these
goals and work to demonstrate its value in achieving effective
development more broadly.
We have widely debated the data revolution – from Addis Ababa
to Cartagena, Mexico City to Antalya – and are proud stewards
of the International Open Data Charter.
We have supported open data leaders in governments around
the world to boost economies, innovation, social impact and
transparency using open data. As part of the Open Data for
Development Network, funded by the IDRC, we created the
Open Data Leaders Network – talented heads of open data
initiatives from 14 countries. They shared perspectives during
their visit to ODI HQ and keep in touch for mutual support
and advice.
We worked closely with the open data team in Burkina Faso,
who used open data to ensure that their fellow citizens had
access to real-time, open results data for their first free and fair
presidential elections in nearly 30 years


In 2016 we will continue to support government open data
leaders and their teams, while promoting open data as a key tool
for achieving impact in global policy discussions.

(Above) Liz Carolan speaking in Rabat, Morocco
(Below) Lifetime people reached

ODI Themes: Finance
Open systems, standards and data have the power to bring
about a new era of innovation in finance.


If developed and used effectively, they will help deliver wideranging benefits to firms, customers and regulators alike.
This year we worked with partners across the finance sector to
explore how this can be achieved.


We completed a report for HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office that
described how competition and consumer experience in UK
banking could be improved. It found that making non-personal
information available as open data and allowing customers to
share transactional data with third parties could better serve the
needs of consumers and businesses.
With open APIs, alternative lenders and advisory services could
create smarter applications, and banks could improve their
financial tools for customers to better understand cash flows,
savings advice and spending comparisons.
Our CEO co-chaired the Open Banking Working Group, working
alongside experts in banking, FinTech and open data. The group
was convened by the UK Government to create a framework for
effective data sharing and open data publishing practices. A report
on the Open Banking Standard will be published in 2016.



Next year, we will help to develop the standards needed to unlock
innovation and competition in the finance sector. In collaboration
with partners and peers we will continue to drive forward the open
banking agenda and work to establish the UK as a global leader.



21st-century banking in a
connected digital economy



or business

Data as Culture
Our Data as Culture art programme engages artists to explore
the wide implications of the culture of open data, to challenge
our understanding of what data is and its impact on our lives.
ODI Associate Curator Hannah Redler selected ‘Data
Anthropologies’ as Data as Culture’s 2015–16 theme, which
places people at the centre of emerging data landscapes. For it we
commissioned our first artists in residence, Thomson & Craighead
and Natasha Caruana.
Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead explore how live networks
such as the Web change the way we understand the world around
us, through installations and online artworks.
Natasha Caruana uses her own experience to explore the
universal themes of love, fantasy and betrayal. Her primary
medium is photography but she also employs performance and
mixed media, drawing heavily on the Internet and social media.
During their residencies, the artists exhibited existing works and
researched open data for the first time. They will draw on this
research to create new works in 2016, supported using public
funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Also this year, ODI Art Associate Julie Freeman and CEO
Gavin Starks co-authored ‘A concise taxonomy for describing
data as an art material’ with professors from Queen Mary,
University of London.
Julie’s live, animated artwork ‘We Need Us’ commissioned by
the ODI with The Space featured at Northern arts centre The Lowry
and at London’s Somerset House flagship exhibition ‘Big Bang
Data’. It heads to the ArtScience Museum, Singapore, in 2016.

(Above) ‘Fairytale for Sale’ (2011– 2013) Natasha Caruana
(Below) ‘Corruption’ (2014) Thomson & Craighead

Photo / artworks

ODI Services
ODI Services deliver our work with developing countries, our
support for startups in the UK and across Europe, and our
consulting and advisory work with governments and companies
around the world. 2015 offered many highlights.
Our Open Data Challenge Series engaged teams to generate
sustainable solutions to social challenges using open data.
For every £1 invested in it, £5–10 would be added back to the UK
economy over three years, according to PwC. Building on this, our
team helped judge Shanghai’s Open Data Applications challenge,
based on the same model.
We built an Open Data Maturity Model, and invited governments
and companies to assess their own open data maturity, track
their progress and set goals using the Open Data Pathway tool.
We helped Syngenta publish data openly, supporting them to
find new value in the data they held, forge new partnerships
with researchers, improve their business model and be more
The Government of Malaysia joined us in a training partnership,
supporting its goal to become a centre for data analytics expertise
and data startups in South-East Asia.
We promoted the economic and social value of open data
to global audiences at events including the APEC forum, the
G20 forum, the International Open Data Conference, the Open
Government Partnership and the Commonwealth Business Forum.
The global appetite for learning about data and its potential is
enormous. Through ODI Services, we will continue to help people
and organisations worldwide to discover what data can do for
them in 2016.

ODI Training Discovery Day,
November 2015, Arup, London

Global network: ODI Nodes
ODI Nodes connect, equip and inspire people around the world
to innovate with data, led by local experts.
ODI Nodes operate at city or regional levels in 20 countries,
across six continents.
This year we welcomed 11 new nodes – from Galway to Brasília,
Riyadh to Aberdeen – growing the network to a total of 27 ODI
Nodes, including seven in the UK.
Contributing to the ODI’s mission, in 2015 ODI Nodes trained
more than 400 people and reached over 15,000 people through
training, events and collaboration.
ODI Sheffield, hosted by Better With Data, works with local
organisations to embed open data in the mainstream education
curriculum, raising confidence and motivation for future
generations to innovate with data.
ODI Queensland, an independent non-profit, has reached
audiences across Australia, contributing to its public sector
open data advisory groups, advocating the value of open data
publication through use of the Open Data Pathways and Open
Data Certificates.
ODI Leeds, an independent non-profit, connects with local
communities and develops partnerships to solve local challenges
with open data. One of its services, RateMyRoute, promotes
cycling by helping people to navigate safer routes through the city.


ODI Cairo, operated by the Software Engineering Competence
Centre of the Information Technology Industry Development
Agency, develops training for local SMEs, corporates and
government, to create, grow and foster open data in Egypt.

(Above) ODI Awards, July 2015, London
(Below) Lifetime ODI global network

Global network: ODI Members
ODI Members are organisations and individuals, from large
corporations to students, who explore, demonstrate and share
the value of open data.
ODI Membership has snowballed this year. We grew our network
of businesses, startups, academic establishments and individuals
from 100 to over 1,300. We also launched student membership,
in line with our goal to help provide lifelong data expertise for
people around the world.
Our sponsors, partners and supporters all play a critical role
in exploring and unlocking the value of data, and are key to
developing our professional network around the world. From
writing guest posts for the ODI blog to speaking at networking
events, our members work with us and each other to promote
open data, share best practice and close new business.
New members in 2015 included Ocado Technology, SAP
and The Bulmer Foundation as well as a host of individuals.
During the year we worked with member Thomson Reuters
to certify the open data published via its website.
This provided guidance on best practice to the Thomson Reuters
team and helped demonstrate to users the company’s
commitment to ongoing data publication.
“We are true believers in open data and the potential it gives for
creating new and novel products. For us the ODI plays a key role
in promoting the value of open data in the wider marketplace.”
Samantha Colebatch, Geolytix /membership


Promoting open innovation
around the world

ODI Learning
The ODI Learning programme offers comprehensive data training.
We help anyone to understand data and explore how it can
be used through fun, accessible and interactive learning.
This year we grew the number of people we had trained to over
3,500, bringing ODI training to new places including Chile, Egypt
and Macedonia. We also assessed more trainers than in any
other year, raising our total to 48 ODI Registered Trainers –
helping to ensure our global learning activities have a local voice.
We also introduced a Learning Associates badge to recognise
data experts in academia and business who deliver challenging
and informative lectures and seminars.
Facilitating anytime learning
We set ourselves an ambitious goal: to create learning for anyone
– anywhere, anytime – and to deliver skills people need in ways
they want. We developed new online courses and compiled
a ‘data skills framework’ to guide the learning journey through
clear, simple steps.
Starting a global conversation
From creating online learning for the European Data Portal
to helping companies like Syngenta boost staff data skills and
shape a data strategy, we are committed to building the future
of data learning.
“It is truly the best training I have ever received.”
Antonio, Inter-American Development Bank
2015 courses:
Open Data in a Day  |  Open Data in Practice  |  Data Science  |  Smart Cities
Business Innovation  |  Finding Stories  |  Train the Trainer

Train the Trainer course,
August 2015, London

ODI Startups
The ODI Startup programmes support and promote open data
startups to help them to stimulate innovation, spur competition
and drive economic growth.
This year we welcomed many new startups to the ODI network,
within our challenge series and incubation programmes.
We reached 50+ incubated companies in total, who have
collectively employed 200+ people. Over the course of the year,
they generated £8m in sales and investments.
Our Open Data Challenge Series awarded startups cash prizes
for sustainable solutions to social challenges using open data.
ODI Startup Open Utility was awarded ‘Startup of the year’ at
European Utility week, Demand Logic and 3D Repo won the
Cognicity Challenge, and OpenCorporates won an ODI Award.
“The day we joined the ODI Startup programme there was also
an ODI Node gathering in the ODI office. We realised our trips
from Edinburgh would link us into a global hub for open data.”
Callum Murray, Amiqus
“The ODI’s support helps us to build our reputation in the market.
The feedback and mentors it provides help us to drive our project
forward.” Clemens Wass, openlaws
We launched the Open Data Incubator for Europe (ODINE),
with a consortium of six partners. Selected companies receive
up to €100K equity-free funding, training and expert advice from
business mentors throughout a six-month programme.
We also announced a strategic partnership with Malaysia, and
hosted two Malaysian startup delegations. We will expand our
startup programmes and integrate them with ODI themes in 2016.

Our mentors help ODI Startups
drive projects forward

ODI Startups: Thingful
Thingful is a global search engine for the Internet of Things
(IoT ). Its vision for IoT is a globally interoperable ecosystem
of connected objects.
Cars, buses, mobile phones, weather stations, air quality sensors
and even home automation systems all need to interact. But how
do they find each other, let alone communicate, when they are
in their own data silos?
Indexing both open, shared and closed data, Thingful’s IoT
search engine and decentralised transaction management
systems enable connected objects to discover other
connected objects and transact directly, while still keeping
device data owners in control of where the data goes. This makes
it possible for things like connected automobiles to use external
air quality data from different sources along their routes, so they
can automatically maintain a high-quality in-cabin experience
for occupants.
We have found potential customers with valuable IoT data
assets sitting behind private firewalls – data that would be more
valuable for everyone when accessible externally.
With the ODI’s support, we were awarded €100k via ODINE
to extend and enhance our global open data index.
We will continue to help people to discover and transact in IoT
data, without having to centralise data in a single platform,
or technically change anything within their data infrastructures.
This is essential to accelerating growth in IoT commercial
models. Unlocking the true value of IoT data is only possible
when it is accessible to others, so they can generate new
insights and make better decisions.

Thingful’s geographical index of where
things are and how they are used

ODI Startups: Brightbook
Brightbook changes the way entrepreneurs and sole traders
run their mini enterprises. It proactively helps them make money
and save money. Most of all, it makes their working life simpler.
For millions of micro businesses, accounting is the least
enjoyable aspect of their work. Equally challenging can be
managing cashflow, time and client relationships, day-to-day.
Most accounting solutions are simply recording and reporting
tools, and don’t flag strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or
risks. For users, they are often too complicated, too expensive
and lacking in great user interfaces.
Our goal is to redefine the value that ‘accounting software’
provides to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by humanising
data and turning it into actionable headline​stories. Brighbook
offers clear notifications that give SMEs insights into how
their financial performance compares with similar businesses,
empowering them to make better, more informed decisions.
The ODI’s mission-led approach to data inspired us to apply to
its startup programme. Since becoming an ODI Startup, we have
won a £100k Smart award from Innovate UK and are currently
seeking a further £500k in funding.
We have learned invaluable lessons on our journey so far, not
least how to pitch relentlessly, which we did at Web Summit for
10 hours to be chosen for its ALPHA programme.
We’re looking forward to continuing our work with the ODI, and
helping to shape the future of accounting.


Source: adapted from Tim O’Reilly, ‘Work on
Stuff that Matters: First Principles’

Our evidence programme demonstrates just how widely open
data impacts our economy, society and environment.
In June we published ‘Open data means business’, which
identified 270 open data companies across the UK. We learned
that these companies were varied in size, age and sector,
with a combined annual turnover of over £92bn and more than
500k employees between them. The report highlighted that open
data was key to creating their products and services, including
geospatial, transport and environmental datasets.
Alongside our DaPaaS project partners, we highlighted the
impact that new open data publishing tools could have in tackling
real-world challenges facing society, from improving our
cities’ resilience to extreme weather events to reducing urban
air pollution.
We helped launch the Open Data Monitor platform on Open
Data Day 2015. The platform paints a rich picture of the state of
open data publishing across EU countries, providing monitoring,
analytics and visualisation tools.
As well as holding our first ODI Showcase, helping projects to
achieve positive impacts with open data (pp.44– 46), we also told
the story of the Environment Agency on its journey to becoming
open by default: its transition, its challenges and how its open
data is used in diverse tools, applications and business.
In 2016 we will highlight larger companies and organisations
that use and publish open data, explore the economic value
of data infrastructure across the data spectrum and demonstrate
the impact of data across sectors.


ODI Showcase winner Plexus offers
mental health support in the workplace

ODI Labs
ODI Labs’ mission is to ‘evolve the state of the art in open
data by creating tools, techniques and standards for the
benefit of everyone’.
This year we have continued to build tools that set standards for,
and help people publish, better quality open data:
• Reaching over 150,000 Open Data Certificates
• Helping organisations assess how well they publish data, with
an Open Data Maturity Model and online tool, in partnership
with the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
• Implementing the new W3C CSV on the Web recommendations
in CSVLint, our validator for CSV files
We have engaged in research projects:
• Helping to allow easy, repeatable data transformation and
hosting by delivering DataGraft as part of the DaPaaS project
• Identifying 173 European open data catalogues and working
out how to measure them as part of the OpenDataMonitor
research project
• Shaping best practice around open data with the SharePSI
network – 45 partners from 26 countries across Europe
And we have worked on concrete examples:
• Proving that the UK can build an open data address file with
Open Addresses
• Working to visualise live data from sensors on trains on the
Victoria line with London Underground

Open Data

In 2016 we will shift focus towards data infrastructure, starting
with work on distributed ledgers (blockchains) supported by
Deutsche Bank. We will also explore better ways of discovering
data, with the help of our dedicated ODI PhD students.

(Above) ‘Vending Machine’ (2009) by DaC artist Ellie Harrison
(Below) Lifetime Open Data Certificates

ODI Showcase
The ODI Showcase commissioned four projects that
demonstrated a real difference to people’s lives using
open data. We supported each with up to £7,000, open data
expertise and access to our global network, between August
and September 2015.
Breathe Heathrow: democratising access to air quality
data to meet local needs
Breathe Heathrow shows how open data has the power to inform
decisions about the development of our transport infrastructure.
ODI Startup deployed a series of air quality
and noise sensors in residents’ gardens over a wide area around
Heathrow. By engaging the public in this way, their project
democratises the collection and publication of data that anyone
can access, use and share, bringing facts to a polarised debate
over current and projected environmental impact.
The project was raised at a parliamentary Environmental
Audit Committee hearing in relation to the lack of data on NOx
omissions collected by Heathrow Airport.
Plexus: data-driven support for mental health
Inspired by insights learnt from working with mental health charity
Mind, digital design studio M/A built Plexus, an online hub and
web app that pulls together open data from a range of sources.
These include data on healthcare services from Mind’s OpenHub
platform and NHS Choices, data on employee rights from
GOV.UK and Citizens Advice, and data on job opportunities and
advice from National Careers Service.
Plexus was designed to help people with mental health conditions
to access support, find routes back into employment and manage
their conditions at work.

Breathe Heathrow air quality
sensors in residents’ gardens

ODI Showcase
Saving commuters’ time
On average, a Londoner spends 18 months of their life travelling
to and from work. For commuters all across the country, travelling
to work often involves multiple stages, meaning a delay at any
stage could potentially be amplified as the journey progresses.
The Fasteroute team has built a Web app combining current
and historic train travel times, including arrivals and departures
at all stations on a route. With these, users can save time by
planning journeys by rail to use services that are more reliable,
and avoid risky connections that could be missed due to trains
that are often delayed.
Finding cleaner bathing water
To make the most of our rivers, lakes and seas, we need to know
about marine pollution and how safe the water is to swim in.
The move to publish open data on bathing water has been
very successful: many datasets have been published, updated
daily during the bathing season and used by a large range of
people – from citizens and scientists to campaigners and local
authorities. Data specialists Epimorphics have investigated the
multitude of use cases of the Environment Agency’s bathing
water quality data.


“We’ve been
inspired not only
to use and benefit
from open data,
but to promote its
value to others.”
Fasteroute, ODI Showcase

Enabling Burkina Faso’s fair and free elections
The first fair and free elections in Burkina Faso for nearly
30 years took place on 29 November 2015.
Within hours of the polls closing, results from 21 districts were
made openly available via a mobile-responsive Web app, and
by the next day citizens had a reliable indication of who would
be their next elected head of state. As the results came in,
Roch Marc Karore emerged as the clear winner.
Trust is vital in elections, but the time between polls closing and
results being announced is particularly sensitive in states in their
transition towards democracy. In other recent elections in Africa,
delays have led to rumours, suspicion and unrest. Real-time data
helps build trust.
Open data has been key to transparency in Burkina Faso.
Along with support for specific open data initiatives, we have
helped apply open data to improve transparency around its
political transition.
We convened the Burkina Open Data Initiative and the
Independent National Electoral Commission, who partnered
to design a data publication platform and multi-step verification
process. We also secured international media coverage of the
open elections project and promotion of the open datasets
and websites.
In future, we hope to see election commissions, and those
of us who support them, use the tools and frameworks of open
data to build the publication of real-time election results into
standard practice for elections, to give citizens more trust in
their democracies.


Real-time results data,
from polls to public platforms

Open Data Challenge Series


In 2014, we created the first Open Data Challenge Series with
Nesta to generate innovative and sustainable solutions to social
challenges using open data.
The series of seven challenges drew to a close in 2015, with
a mix of individuals, teams, companies and other organisations
contributing more than 140 creative ideas. The winners of each
of the seven challenges were selected from 21 finalists, to share
a prize fund of £415,000. The 2015 winners include:
Performance in Context is a tool that improves access to
jobs for applicants from less-privileged backgrounds by providing
recruiters with context around their academic performance.
FoodTrade Menu helps restaurants and caterers comply
with new regulations on transparency of allergens in their food.
Heritage and culture
Culture Everywhere is a platform that enables fundraisers
and grassroots arts and heritage organisations to develop
fundable projects that ultimately deliver better social outcomes.
In a business development and impact measurement report,
PwC found that for every £1 invested in the series, between
£5 and £10 of value may be added to the UK economy over
a period of three years, and that 75–141 jobs will be created.
The series also provides a useful blueprint and resources for
further challenges or similar projects that can be used by anyone
wishing to replicate its success.


Challenge series life cycle from
theme to winning business


ODI Awards
The ODI Awards celebrate innovation and excellence in open
data across the world. The 2015 winners were announced by
Sirs Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt on 9 July, in a ceremony
held at Bloomberg’s London office.
Open Data Business Award winner: OpenCorporates
OpenCorporates offers context to complex company activity
with the world’s largest open database of company information.
Open Data Innovation Award winner: Medicines for
Malaria Venture
MMV facilitates open-source development of antimalarial
medicine, releasing new drugs and compounds to aid the
research of medical professionals in developing countries.
Open Data Social Impact Award winner: BudgIT
BudgIT raises awareness on spending and budgets in Nigeria
through a portal featuring a breakdown of government spending.
Open Data Individual Champion Award winner:
Mo McRoberts
BBC Chief Technical Architect Mo McRoberts has developed
an open data platform for the BBC, including best-practices
and policies for open data across the broadcast industry.
Open Data Publisher Award winner: Greater London Authority
GLA has pioneered the release of local and regional government
open data in London, publishing 600 datasets with Open Data
Certificates and working with TfL to open up transport data.


ODI Awards trophies
by Dan Bowran with Adrian Philpott

Celebrating Generation Open: ODI Summit
Our 2015 ODI Summit gathered over 600 delegates and
80 speakers at the BFI on London’s Southbank to celebrate
Generation Open: innovators and entrepreneurs, citizens and
customers, students and parents who embrace network thinking.
Talks, panel discussions, hacks and performances explored
how data and open innovation transform all aspects of our
lives, from business to science, research to art.
The pre-summit Training Discovery Day, held at Arup, offered
four streams of interactive sessions: Generation Open, for those
intrigued about what it means to be ‘open by default’; Open Data
for Business, for those looking to build products; Data Science
in the Open, for those looking to test their skills; and Open Data
Sectors, for tips on how to have broad impacts in different areas.
During the summit, experts in the keynote theatre spoke
on solving global development challenges, delivering new
medicines to those in need and empowering citizens with data.
During his speech on ‘data-driven government’, Minister Matt
Hancock spoke on the importance of building a strong data
infrastructure, and called on the ODI to bring the voice of data
businesses and innovators to the Cabinet Office and promote
data innovation across government.
Real-world and business impacts were showcased in the
story and startup theatres. Young hackers developed datadriven solutions for improving nutrition in the Young Rewired
State challenge theatre and our creative lab workshop hosted
live performances, curated by sound artist Alex McLean.
The summit’s passionate trainers, speakers, performers and
delegates brought perspectives from across the Data Spectrum
as champions of open innovation in all its forms.

Young Rewired State hackathon,
ODI Summit 2015, London

Generation Open: An open declaration
We are innovators and entrepreneurs, citizens and customers,
students and parents who embrace network thinking.
We are not defined by age, income or borders. We exist online
and in every country, company, school and community.
We shape our attitudes around open culture. We expect
everything to be accessible: an open web, open source, open
cities, open government, open innovation, open data. We believe
in freedom to connect, freedom to travel, freedom to share and
freedom to trade. Anyone can publish, anyone can broadcast,
anyone can sell things, anyone can learn and everyone can share.
With this open mindset we transform sectors around the world –
from business to art – by promoting transparency, accessibility,
innovation and collaboration.
We believe in harnessing the power of the network and we make
up more than the sum of our parts. We expect services, not
products, whether from businesses, charities or governments.
Our expectations are high: if a service isn’t good enough we
expect to be able to shape what is offered or we’ll make our own.
We use and produce open data in everyday applications,
government policies, humanitarian initiatives and business
solutions. It brings us insights and efficiencies; our efforts are
united, not duplicated.
We challenge ourselves and each other. We share our good
times, our bad times, and our jogging times. We share
information to fight injustice and corruption. We share our
playlists. We map disaster zones to help target aid, and local
schools for informed communities.
We are Generation Open. Together, we will unlock knowledge
for everyone.

The ODI family grew widely this year. Brilliant and diverse new
startups, nodes, members and teammates joined us on our
mission to connect, equip and inspire people around the
world to innovate with data.
As a team we have challenged ourselves to take on detailed
sector themes, host bigger and better events and bring our
services to thousands of people in countries far and wide.
We have lived our values – expert, enabling and fearless –
internally, taking time to tell each other what we are working on,
whether in our team-wide ‘stand-up’ meetings each morning
or quarterly strategy days.
As individuals, many of us from across the team have challenged
ourselves to be coached and assessed as ODI Registered
Trainers, take on new roles, represent the ODI at events or learn
something new at our Friday lunchtime lectures.
What underpins our work is a shared passion for achieving our
mission, respect for one another along the way and, ultimately,
Team offsites are as much about having fun together at the afterparties as they are refining our strategy. We focus our summit
as much around putting faces to names and bringing together
our global network, as showcasing ideas, products and services
to promote open innovation.
#LifeAtTheODI is stimulating, vibrant and fun, and we are
excited about what the coming year will bring.


Open data board game
prototype testing at ODI HQ

Looking ahead: designing for open
We are in an anthropogenic age in which the digital and
physical blur. Where there are more sensors than people.
Where everything, whether physical or digital, is being turned
into data that can be accessed via the Web. Where we are
using our phenomenal advances in technology to codify
the world.
The application of AI with the web of data is in its infancy,
but points to the evolution of an ‘algocene’, where algorithms
have direct global impact on our society, economy and
environment, and data is a critical infrastructure that
supports it.
As we hit peak everything (from antibiotics to raw materials),
we must work out how to house, feed, employ, protect, heat,
transport, make and educate with less. We need to expand
our network thinking and place open innovation at the heart
of our infrastructure systems design: enabling organisations
to become porous by providing them with data, standards,
tools and techniques, and engaging billions of people to
participate, solve problems and prosper.
I believe the Web is part of our social response to globalisation,
helping us remain connected with each other even if we are
spatially fragmented. I believe the web of data is a response
that will help us to address the greatest challenges of our
time. Yet we haven’t truly accepted that to address our pace
of change, we need to design for open. This does not mean
making everything open – far from it – but we must provide
the architecture for, embrace and lead with an open approach.
Our digital economy, digital environment and digital society
depend on it.


The dataverse




ODI Member directory
ODI Members are organisations and individuals, from large
corporations to students, who explore, demonstrate and share
the value of open data.
Along with our sponsors, partners and supporters, we have
1,176 individual supporters and student members.
Our partners, sponsors and new supporters – who joined us this
year – are listed below. You can find a list of all our members at

Arup Group

Thomson Reuters


Met Office

Deutsche Bank


NTT Data

Precise Media


Big Data Partnership

Black Swan


Bulmer Foundation


Caution Your Blast

Code for Seoul


Constructing Excellence

New ODI Supporters, 2015

Construction Sector Transparency


Analytical People


Deliver Change

Design for Social Change

ODI Member directory
Emu Analytics


ESI Limited

National Audit Office


Networked Planet Ltd

Exmile Solutions (MarineTraffic)

New Citizenship Project

Geospatial Enabling Technologies

Newcastle University


NHS England

Greater London Authority

Nimble Learn

Glasgow City Council

Nquiringminds Ltd



Guru Systems

Ocado Technology

Health Fabric

Office for National Statistics

Higher Education Statistics Agency



Oxford University Press



Informed Solutions

London Borough of Redbridge

IT as a Utility Network


ITO World





Signal Noise

Meta Data Technology

Singular Intelligence

Mime Consulting

Space Syntax Ltd


ODI Member directory
Spend Network

University of Edinburgh

Sport England

University of Essex

Sunderland City Council

University of Greenwich

Surrey County Council

University of Oxford


Universities UK

The Co-operative Group

ValueBase Healthcare

The Open University

Visceral Business

Transport Systems Catapult

Turner & Townsend

University College London

University of Cambridge


ODI Bootcamp
(November 2015) – Malaysian delegates

ODI Node directory
ODI Nodes contribute to the local, national and international
development of open data. They develop and deliver training
to build capabilities, connect people and businesses through
membership and events communicate stories and catalyse
the adoption of standards, tools and processes.
ODI Aberdeen
ODI Athens
ODI Belfast
ODI Birmingham
ODI Brasília
ODI Bristol
ODI Buenos Aires
ODI Cairo
ODI Chicago
ODI Devon
ODI Dubai
ODI Galway
ODI Gothenburg
ODI Hampshire
ODI Leeds
ODI Madrid
ODI Osaka
ODI Paris

ODI Queensland
ODI Riyadh
ODI Seoul
ODI Sheffield
ODI St Petersburg
ODI Toronto
ODI Trento
ODI Vienna


ODI Node strategy day,
October 2015, ODI HQ, London

Trainers trained

ODI Startup directory
The ODI Startup programme is open to any startup business that
uses and/or produces open data (p.34). The ODI Startups who
joined us in 2015 are listed below, along with those selected for
the Open Data Incubator for Europe.
Fourth cohort
Amiqus Resolution





ODINE Startups
Second cohort

Farm Dog

Glimworm (iBeacon LL)



Third cohort

Plume Labs


Enian Ltd








First cohort









Table of illustrations
Illustrations by Deborah Allwright and Ian Dutnall
p.19 Open data for agriculture and nutrition
p.41 ODI Showcase winner Plexus offers mental health support
p.45 ODI Showcase winner Breathe Heathrow deploys air quality
sensors in residents’ gardens
p.49 Open elections Burkina Faso: real-time open results data
from polls to public platforms
Illustrations by Ian Dutnall
p.5 ODI Startups in the open development ecosystem.
p.23 Setting the Open Banking Standard: 21st-century banking
in a connected digital economy
p.61 The dataverse

  (Opposite: above and below) ‘The First Person’ (2014),
  ‘London Wall’ (2010–ongoing) Thomson & Craighead.
  (This page) ‘Married Man’ (2008–2009) Natasha Caruana.