About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Innovation in public services: new opportunities for open data

Today we’re launching our new report ‘Which doctors take up promising new ideas? New insights from open data.’ With the help of CASMI and Mastodon C, we’ve used open data to explore how GP practices have taken up a selection of promising drugs, technologies, and ways of working.

From state schools to the NHS, many of our contemporary public services were once considered innovations in themselves, and virtually all have had to continue innovating to remain relevant and effective. Still, an innovation won’t have impact unless it is taken up, spread and used. As government begins to open its massive open datasets, it is becoming significantly easier to analyse and track early adoption on a national scale.

You can learn more about our thinking in our report and the illustration below.

New opportunities for open data

Our public services face a variety of challenges, including budget constraints, demographics changes, and complex social problems.

Innovations – new and proven tools, practice and ideas – can help to address these challenges.

To have any impact, innovations must be taken up and spread.

Before we can encourage greater and faster take up of innovations, we need to understand what’s already happening in public services.

As public services become progressively digitised, they are producing increasingly large and detailed datasets. Many of these datasets are open and freely available to the public.

Already, people are making use of open data to improve our public services – from creating live public transport tackers to finding ways for the NHS to save on prescription costs.

We can also use open data to see how different innovations are taken up and spread within our public services.

Over time, this information can be used to support and encourage public services to become even better at take up innovations.

View the illustration in full by clicking the image below

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Kathleen Stokes

Kathleen Stokes

Kathleen Stokes

Senior Researcher, Social Innovation

Kathleen was a Senior Researcher leading on Nesta’s policy and research work in digital education and the collaborative economy. At Nesta, Kathleen researched and written various publi…

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