UK Government Appoints First CDO

Mike Bracken has been appointed as the first ever Chief Data Officer for the UK Government. He will be tasked with "developing a new Government Data Standard, championing open data and encouraging the use of data in the decision-making process. He will lead on developing greater data analysis skills and capability across government".

Bracken will take on the role concurrently alongside his duties as Head of the Government Digital Service and Executive Director of Digital in the Cabinet Office.


Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, made the announcement as he praised 16 local and regional councils in the UK as "Open Data Champions" in their efforts to drive open data and transparency standards.

Commenting on the CDO appointment, Maude said: "I’m delighted to announce that Mike Bracken who has spearheaded this government’s digital revolution will also become the Government’s Chief Data Officer. He is the ideal person to take our already world-leading approach to open data even further, while strengthening data analysis skills in Whitehall."

Maude added: "Transparency is an idea whose time has come. Open data helps sharpen accountability, support economic growth, and inform choice over public services. The potential rewards are enormous – smarter, more responsive and more cost-effective public services – and Britain is now consistently ranked first for openness. These Open Data Champions are another way we are placing transparency at the heart of our long-term economic plan."

The 16 Open Data Champions recognised by the Cabinet Office were: Barnet, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Devon, Glasgow, Hampshire, Lambeth, Leeds, London, Manchester, Windsor & Maidenhead, Redbridge, Sunderland, Surrey, and Trafford.

The UK government is not alone in hiring a CDO in helping to shape strategy in a growing digital age. Jason Goldman, a former employee of Google, Medium and Twitter, was hired as the US Government’s first Chief Digital Officer last month, and in September 2014, Henri Verider was announced as the French government’s Chief Data Officer to ensure that policy becomes increasingly data-driven.