ADD2358 London Datastore Discovery Phase

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
13 August 2019
Decision by: 
Jeremy Skinner, Assistant Director of Strategy, Insight & Intelligence

Executive summary

The Greater London Authority (GLA) wishes to commission external services to deliver a discovery project that will inform the specification for the next iteration of our data-sharing website, the London Datastore.

Through the discovery, the GLA will look to gain a deeper understanding of the Datastore’s users and their needs. This project will also explore what additional positive contribution the Datastore could make to data sharing across London so that public servants, businesses and others can deliver better services to the public.


That the Assistant Director of Strategy, Intelligence & Analysis approves expenditure, on external services of £50,000 in 2019/20, to deliver:

1. a mission and vision for the Datastore;
2. a strategy that maps out the steps needed to implement the next iteration of the London Datastore; and
3. documentation of user needs that can be translated into a list of technical requirements for use in future development.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The London Datastore is the GLA’s data-sharing platform. The GLA and GLA Group currently have over 800 datasets published on the London Datastore which are used by over 50,000 analysts, academics, developers and policy officers every month to help deliver services, drive new research and hold the Mayor accountable.

In November 2018, the London Datastore underwent an internal review against the Local Government Digital Service Standard. This review identified several potential areas of improvement. Five years on from its last major redevelopment, we know little of whether we are meeting our users’ needs and how these needs may have evolved over time. In addition, over this time the technology landscape has changed significantly bringing new opportunities and challenges.

In the Smarter London Together roadmap the Mayor and Chief Digital Officer identify strengthening the city’s ability to work collaboratively as a mission for London’s public service. We wish to build upon the success of the London Datastore as an open data publishing platform to help deliver this vision.

We wish to commission services to deliver a discovery phase that will inform the specification for the next iteration of the London Datastore.

Following advice from the TfL Commercial team, we advertised our requirements via the Government’s Digital Marketplace. 33 completed applications were received, from which we shortlisted twelve to submit a written proposal. Submissions will be assessed by the GLA panel and a contract awarded to the supplier judged to have the experience, skills, and methodology that best meets the project requirements and can deliver on time, at a competitive price. A contract will be awarded by Friday 30 August 2019.

Objectives and expected outcomes

We have four objectives for the discovery:

• to understand the wider service that the London Datastore supports and what additional positive contribution it could make;
• to understand the needs of our users and potential users and the intersection between this and our ambitions;
• to define the mission and vision for the London Datastore; and
• to understand the steps needed to implement the next iteration of the London Datastore.

We expect the following deliverables from the discovery:

• a mission and vision for the Datastore;
• a strategy that maps out the steps we need to take to implement the next iteration of the London Datastore, including identifying the resources required to deliver it; and
• documentation of user needs that can be translated into a backlog for Alpha.

Equality comments

Upon assessing the risks, people with disabilities have been identified as a group who may potentially have problems using the London Datastore unless it has been designed with their needs in mind. This would essentially exclude this group from accessing the benefits of using the website. To mitigate this risk, we will liaise with the GLA’s digital team to ensure we meet the web accessibility standards set by the organisation.

Other considerations

Risks and issues (scored 1 to 4 on likelihood and impact; total score between 1 and 16):



Inherent Score


Target Score

Discovery is not delivered on time


Impact: 1

Total: 2

We will hold a project initiation meeting with the contractor to agree realistic deadlines for delivery.

Likelihood: 1

Impact: 1

Total: 1

Handover from contractor to GLA results in loss of understanding/contextual knowledge ahead of further work

Likelihood: 2

Impact: 3

Total: 6

The contractor will work closely with our internal team throughout the whole process. In addition, a deliverable of the project is to document user needs so they can be translated easily into a backlog for Alpha.

Likelihood: 1

Impact: 3

Total: 3

Vision produced in Discovery doesn’t gain buy in from key stakeholders

Likelihood: 2

Impact: 3

Total: 6

We will create a stakeholder map, and ensure they are consulted during the discovery.  Regular project meetings with our Sponsor will ensure there are opportunities to report on progress.

Likelihood: 1

Impact: 3

Total: 3


Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities: This programme of work will meet the ambition in the Smarter London Together roadmap to support an open ecosystem and drive better decision-making by opening up the capital’s data.


Impact assessments and consultations: The appropriate procurement processes were followed to    ensure that the successful company complies with the GLA’s policies and procedures.

Financial comments

The expenditure of £50,000 will be funded from the 2019-20 London Datastore budget within the City Intelligence Unit.

Activity table



Kick off meeting(s) with successful applicant

Sept 2019

Stakeholder engagement

Sept 2019

User Research

Sept 2019 – Nov 2019

Envisioning workshop

Nov 2019


Nov 2019

Share this page