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2015 Digital Challenge Awards - Open Data 10 Aug 2015

This is the 3rd year that The NextGen Digital Challenge has honoured Open Data projects. Last year’s winner The Driver & Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) highlighted a great step forward in public sector online capabilities.

The shortlisted contenders for 2015 include three from the Public Sector – and they are competing with a Community Project from rural England and a major Utility. The judging panel’s reactions in September will be interesting as they study the scale of challenges, the novelty of the solutions and evidence of achievement.

DVLA are back – this time pitching their system for allowing Fleet companies to view vehicle records. For companies managing more than 50 vehicles this will enable huge administrative efficiencies. Cybermoor – based in Alston Moor, high up in the North Pennines - have are enabling a greater understanding of what is going on in rural communities through their Community Data Explorer project. Making data relevant - drawing on planning and crime stats - it has recently won funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government to extend into other parts of Cumbria.

Ordnance Survey are hoping to find a route towards another trophy with their Open Map project – enabling vast swathes of landscape details to be incorporated into other online systems. British Gas are looking forward to more Connected Homes with their My Energy Application platform – a service that brings together smart metering and Predictive Analytics to transparently communicate to customers on their energy consumption. And the final contender comes from the Channel Islands: the States of Guernsey with the Electronic Census Project that turns the costs and hassle of census production on its head. Why ask citizens to fill in forms every ten years, when by pulling together a whole range of data already known to government, you can get complete census results at every quarter of the year at a fraction of the cost?

We must wait until 5th November to find out just who will be celebrating at the Awards dinner in the House of Lords – but all of the contenders have great stories that will fuel further adventures in Open Data development.

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