Work with us to explore the economic value of core data assets

The Open Data Institute (ODI) connects, equips and inspires people around the world to innovate with data. It is independent, non-profit and non-partisan, founded in 2012 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt. The ODI is based in London and its node network operates in 20 countries across six continents.

We believe data infrastructure is as important as our physical infrastructure and that a well-maintained data infrastructure is needed for the operation of a society. Data infrastructure exists in cities, nations, sectors and globally. It will always include data from across the closed, shared and open spectrum but the ODI believes that society benefits most when core data assets – such as addresses, weather, property records and mapping data – are published openly. You can read this summary of the existing economic evidence of the benefits of open data.

We want to continue understanding the economic case for investment in data infrastructure.

We also believe in the value of open research: research that is published openly and is open-minded – not only the final output but the data and methodologies underpinning it. We support research that challenges our beliefs just as much as we support research that proves them.

We wish to commission an independent economic report that looks in more detail at the existing evidence for core data assets. We have a budget of £15,000 (including VAT) for this work. We want to publish the report before the end of February 2016.

We think that to make the strongest possible case for investment in core data assets we need to be able to answer the following questions.

  1. What is the expected economic value to a national economy (as a percentage of GDP) from core data assets under two different access models?
  • Paid access - where all organisations must sign a contract, pay a fee and potentially abide by licence restrictions on the purposes that the data can be used for
  • Open licence - where anyone can access, use and share the data
  1. How will this value accrue across the different parts of the value chain that use the data to deliver products/services to the market? We would suggest the following model for subdividing the value chain but are open to other ideas:
  • Data publishers
  • Aggregators who collect, curate and potentially republish data from multiple data publishers
  • Enablers who provide services to facilitate the supply or use of data
  • Developers who create applications for individual consumption
  • Data users who use data to enhance existing products and services or create new ones
  • Service users who use the products and services created by data users
  1. What is driving any difference in economic value between the two access models, eg network effects, time saving, allocative efficiency, etc?

  2. What are the expected timescales to realise the change in economic value if data is moved between these different access models (for example, from paid to open, or from open to paid)?

  3. What steps can be taken to accelerate the change in economic value?

If any bidder wishes to propose variations to these questions based on their expertise or on their ability to deliver within the fixed budget and timescale then we are open to their ideas. We will make our assessment based on a mix of price and quality (see detail below).

The report should draw on the range of evidence that already exists. You will find some of the existing evidence that we have collated below.

To apply for this work please send your proposal (or any questions you might have) to [email protected].


We have a budget of £15,000 (including VAT) for this work.


We wish to receive proposals for this work by 4 December 2015.

We will make a decision on a partner by 18 December 2015.

We are looking for a draft/outline report by the end of January 2016.

The report must be published before the end of February 2016


The outputs of the work should be:

  1. Openly licensed content (data, words, graphics) suitable for publishing on the Open Data Institute website
  2. A dissemination plan to influence policymakers that draws on the assets of the Open Data Institute, its partners and the bidder’s network
  3. Presentation and attendance at events as agreed in the dissemination plan

All data used to produce the report should be made available under an open licence where possible. The report should be clear enough that it should be possible for other individuals to replicate the results.

Whichever individual or organisation is commissioned to produce the report will also be able to publish the results whenever and wherever they want.

Selection criteria

In addition to the Open Data Institute’s open procurement policy when selecting a delivery partner for this engagement as well as value for money we will pay particular attention to the following:

  • a demonstrable track record of producing and disseminating reports that have influenced policymakers
  • experience in the valuation of data assets
  • ability to write in a clear concise style

Existing studies and background papers

The Open Data Institute has published a number of papers and posts about data and its role in society:

There are a number of existing economic reports and case studies to draw on: