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Open data group will have a 'positive impact on public services'

PublicService - Data experts across business, civil society, academia and local government came together in July at London's Tech City for the first ever meeting of the government's Open Data User Group (ODUG). They were appointed with the sole aim to advise what public sector data will have the greatest economic impact and social benefits for the UK and should therefore be made 'open' to the public.

The ODUG is a significant move in the right direction for the government and comes at a time when the public sector really needs better support to help them make the best of what has become a challenging situation. Bringing together government and business in this way is crucial – the concept behind the ODUG is really rather new and when combined with the Open Data Institute and Data Strategy Board, will be revolutionary.

On a day-to-day level, the group will be the focal point for user community feedback on plans to release further data. It will also act as a main point of contact for the user community to report back on successes, or otherwise, of existing data releases.

So, what does this mean for the public sector and public in general? In terms of direct impact, it's two-fold: