Today, NTT DATA UK and Global Government Forum announced the launch of the Civil Service Data Challenge 2022 – the second year of the programme – which invites Civil Servants to share their ideas on how government can improve its use of data. The challenge, which sees civil servants pitch their ideas to a panel of senior leaders in a 'Dragon's Den' style competition, is a collaboration between NTT DATA UK, Cabinet Office, Global Government Forum, and the Office for National Statistics.
As part of the Data Challenge, teams of Civil Service volunteers will develop the most promising of these ideas, pitching them to the judges at semi-final and final events – after which the best will receive both technical advice and development support from partner NTT DATA UK, and the backing of top Civil Servants.
The winning entry from 2021 saw a team of civil servants propose the deployment of an AI solution to protect the UK’s peatlands. The idea edged ahead of its rivals in a closely contested final thanks to its potential to help lock more carbon into the ground, reduce flooding risk, and assist the government with achieving its carbon emissions targets. Moreover, the project has potential to be scaled for application worldwide, which helped to win over the judges. However, due to the impressive nature of all the finalists’ proposals, NTT DATA has continued to work with all finalists to help ensure their ideas are brought to life.
The sponsors for this year’s Data Challenge include Alex Chisholm, Chief Operating Officer at the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office and Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office, Heather Wheeler MP.
Alex Chisholm commented: “I am delighted to be sponsoring the Data Challenge in its second year, having seen the extraordinary response we got from teams across the Civil Service last year. The enthusiasm and skill of the competing teams was equalled by the quality and ingenuity of their proposals. Last years' finalists are already driving real world improvements in public services”.
Civil Servants have until 21 July 2022 to put forward their ideas or volunteer to join a team. An expert panel of judges will then review and select the eight most promising ideas to proceed to the next stage, which will examine their viability, as well as explore any challenges and benefits to the proposals. These will be whittled down during a live semi-final event, to four final ideas, before a grand finale where the judging panels will pick the best idea for further development – providing both the support of the programme’s judges, partners and sponsors, and expert advice and technical prowess from NTT DATA UK.
Vicki Chauhan, Head of Public Sector at NTT DATA UK, commented: “Following the success of last year’s Challenge, we are delighted to be launching the Civil Service Data Challenge 2022. The competition is a fantastic platform for civil servants to pitch their data ideas to a panel of senior leaders from across the civil service and industry. The use of data needs to be central to all of the government’s policy and decision making in order to produce better outcomes for citizens, and we cannot wait to see the new and innovative ideas that will be put forward in this year’s Challenge.”
Civil Servants have until 21st July 2022 to put forward their ideas or volunteer to join a team via the dedicated website: https://www.datachallenge.uk/