Supporting information

Jump to:


Bolton Research and Intelligence Network (BRAIN)

BRAIN is a virtual network under the Bolton Vision to embed use of good evidence and intelligence in decision making across Bolton by:

  • increasing collaboration (formal / informal)
  • enhancing capacity and capabilities
  • reducing duplication
  • providing expert challenge and support during development of priorities and actions

If you work with data, evidence or intelligence directly or in a more strategic role for a Bolton Vision organisation, why not join us?

Further useful information

What is the question?

In order to make the most of data, evidence, and intelligence, it helps to gain a better understanding of the challenge or question you are trying to find the answer to.

Open data, managing and finding datasets

Open data is data that is openly accessible, exploitable, editable and shared by anyone for any purpose. There are two dimensions of data openness:

  1. The data must be legally open, which means it must be placed in the public domain or under liberal terms of use with minimal restrictions.
  2. The data must be technically open, which means it must be published in electronic formats that are machine readable and non-proprietary, so that anyone can access and use the data using common, freely available software tools.

Bolton Council has signed up to Open Data Manchester's Declaration for responsible and intelligent data practice. This provides a statement of intent, and a means for developing and maintaining best practice in Greater Manchester for collecting and using data lawfully and ethically, and doing so transparently and sustainably.

Good managment of data is important whether it is open data or data that remains within an organisation, but can make it easier to identify datasets that would be beneficial to open up and be confident it is safe to do so. Well managed data, whether open or not, is easier to find and use when it is needed so it can better improve decision making.

Further useful information

Ethical and responsible use of data

Legal frameworks set out what uses data can be put to, but data ethics is about considering what uses it should be put to. Using data legally, ethically, and repsonsibly and clearly communicating this helps build trust in an organisation's data use.

  • Responsible data stewardship - from the Open Data Institute
  • Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation - Part of Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
  • AI Ethics and Governance in Practice - a series of workbooks from the Alan Turing institute to help the public sector apply AI ethics and safety to the design, development, and deployment of algorithmic systems
  • Algorithmic Transparency Recording Standard Hub - toolkit to helps public sector organisations provide clear information about the algorithmic tools they use, and why they’re using them. Produced by Central Digital and Data Office and Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. Algorithmic tools solve a problem by breaking it down into smaller steps and follow a set of rules; they often run through the steps and rules many times to find the solution that performs best out of many attempts. Some algorithmic tools may be considered or referred to as AI (artifical intelligence).
  • Guidance on Generative AI from LOTI the London Office of Technology and Innovation
  • Guidance for civil servants on the use of generative AI - from the Cabinet Office and Central Digital & Data Office

Digital and data roles & responsibilities in the public sector