Investigating the Data Reuse Problem

Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash

Alan Turning Institute
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Project Status:

Lead Research Organisation:
University of Exeter

Principal Investigator:
Dr Zena Wood

This project is investigating impediments to data reuse. We’ll be asking “what’s the current state of play?” before making practical recommendations and identifying areas where future research or development is needed.

Government and commercial organisations have accrued vast amounts of data over years of investment, but they might be missing opportunities. The way data is designed, captured, and managed is primarily intended for single-use purposes. This means huge amounts of data that is worth billions of pounds is being generated, yet it is not being reused.

Data reuse could deliver better value.  If it could be used in a slightly different way, data could inform other operational areas, systems and services beyond what it was originally designed for. The ability to reuse data could allow an organisation to use their resources more efficiently, potentially saving time and money.

This interdisciplinary project connects areas of research that are more often undertaken in discipline silos. This gives us a panoramic view of current practices, how they may help or hinder data reuse, possible causes or influencing factors, and possible mitigation strategies.

This research will inform and benefit academia, industry and policy. Our learnings will help organisations, by highlighting actions they could take and policies they could adopt. These recommendations will help work towards the development of a data ecosystem where data reuse is expected.