UK Crown Commercial Service to Spend Big on Analytics


CCS intends to put in place a pan-Government Collaborative Agreement for the provision of Big Data and Analytics to be utilized by central government departments and other UK public sector bodies.

Governments worldwide are earmarking funds to accelerate the use data and analytics to improve the services their agencies deliver to constituents. This month, yet another large funding program was announced in the UK.

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has earmarked up to £2 billion in spending for big data storage and analytics products. Government departments will leverage this spending to upgrade critical systems and continue the digital transformation process over the course of a four-year period, 2022 to 2026.

The impact of the investment will be wide-spread. CCS intends to put in place a pan-Government Collaborative Agreement for the provision of Big Data and Analytics to be utilized by Central Government Departments and all other UK Public Sector Bodies, including Local Authorities, Health, Police, Fire and Rescue, Education and Devolved Administrations. 

Enabling big data and analytics in the public sector

The earmarked funds will advance the government’s ability to use insights from data to provide better services to the public with fewer interruptions. It’s part of the National Data Strategy’s imperatives.

Spending includes options for two buckets: software and services. This provides flexibility in procurement for both cognitive services and artificial intelligence-based solutions, including machine and deep learning. CCS believes that this type of adoption shouldn’t be a one-time thing but instead part of a long-term vision.

Building on the National Data Strategy

The National Data Strategy launched its core strategy document a few years ago, outlining five missions:

  • Unlock the value of data
  • Secure a trusted, pro-growth approach
  • Establish government data usage that improves public services
  • Ensure security and resilience of public infrastructure
  • Champion the international flow of data

These missions are supported by four pillars—data foundations, data skills, data availability, and responsible data use. For example, Calvin Jepson, head of data platform services, mentioned moving data to a more secure third-party location in a data warehouse. On the product side, investing in privacy and security software to manage increasingly complex cybersecurity challenges is also a priority.

Elizabeth Wallace

About Elizabeth Wallace

Elizabeth Wallace is a Nashville-based freelance writer with a soft spot for data science and AI and a background in linguistics. She spent 13 years teaching language in higher ed and now helps startups and other organizations explain - clearly - what it is they do.

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