Local Industrial Strategy: Local Data Review


Greater Manchester aims to be one of the top five European digital city-regions, recognised globally for its digital innovation. Data – including how it is collected, used, shared and valued – forms a key part of that ambition. Research shows that the leading digital city-regions appreciate the value of their local data, using data to inform and improve public services, and releasing data for wider re-use.

Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy (LIS), released in June 2019, supports these ambitions, with an aim to create an economy fit for the future. The importance of better quality, more value-rich data is central to this ambition.

With these ideas in mind, the LIS proposed the creation of a Local Data Review (LDR) to identify and address the barriers to opening up local public sector data for re-use.


There are three workstreams in the LDR:

  • Analysis – identifying some of the main challenges the public sector faces when opening up data for re-use;
  • Consultation – identifying some of the main challenges external organisations face in accessing and using public sector data;
  • Review – identifying deliverables, and actions to create these deliverables, to open more public sector data.


Key outputs

The main output of the analysis workstream is a report on open data approaches and practices. This report summarises the findings of a series of 25 open data case studies, an open data workshop held in September 2020, and wider background research. The focus of this report is on the internal challenges faced within the public sector when opening data for re-use, alongside possible solutions to overcome these challenges.

Open data approaches and practices (pdf)

Case studies

A number of case studies were developed for the analysis workstream. These case studies looked at existing programmes, projects and organisations that contributed to opening data for wider re-use. The case studies are not extensive, but are focused on examples of challenges and mitigations for opening public sector data, and examples where lessons can be learned for Greater Manchester and beyond.

The case studies below have been compiled through a mixture of desk-based research, literature review, and - in some instances - short interviews with relevant parties. The findings from the reports are from GMCA, and do not represent the views or opinions of the respective organisations. 

Local case studies

DataGM (pdf)

Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Programme (pdf)

MappingGM (pdf)

Open Data Manchester (pdf)

Salford Data Quay (pdf)

Trafford Data Lab (pdf)

TfGM (pdf)

Wigan Open Data (pdf)

National case studies

data.gov.uk (pdf)

Data Mill North (pdf)

Food Standards Agency (pdf)

Insight Cheshire East (pdf)

London Datastore (pdf)

Ordnance Survey Open Data (pdf)

TfL Open Data (pdf)

International case studies

Australia and New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline (pdf)

Copenhagen City Data Exchange (pdf)

Data.gov (pdf)

DataDriven and NOLAlytics (pdf)

Dublinked (pdf)

European Data Portal (pdf)

European Union Open Data Portal (pdf)

NationalMap Australia (pdf)

NYC Analytics (pdf)


The main outputs of the consultation workstream are summarised in 'the Future of Open Data in Greater Manchester' report. This report outlines the findings of the open data consultation carried out with local businesses, community organisations and academia in Autumn 2020. This exercise was conducted by Open Data Manchester on our behalf. The focus of the report is on the different ways that these organisations and groups use open data, and on the challenges they face when doing so. It ends with a series of recommendations to overcome some of these key challenges.

The Future of Open Data in Greater Manchester (pdf)


The report attached below is the key output of the review stage, which summarises the findings of the analysis and consultation stages and sets out key next steps for Greater Manchester. The report identifies 12 essential deliverables for the city region to overcome the main open data challenges and support the creation of a better information ecosystem. These 12 deliverables are supported by a detailed schedule of potential actions, as set out within Annex A to our main report.

Final summary review (pdf)

Annex A - Suggested actions and deliverables for Greater Manchester (xlsx)