Research projects

Valuing data

This scoping study aims to produce a framework identifying key types of data and the appropriate approaches for valuing them.


The Value of Data - Policy Implications    

The Value of Data - Literature Review      

The Value of Data - Summary report 2020

Valuing data: foundations for data policy

"There are many unanswered questions about data: who controls or accesses it, how to govern it, how much it is worth and who has the rights to that value? Much of the debate to date has focused in general terms on either the privacy costs of the growing use of online data or the broad economic potential of its use, but the creation of value from data of different kinds, and its capture by different entities, need to be better understood for effective policy."

Diane Coyle, The Value of Data

This scoping study aims to produce a framework identifying key types of data and the appropriate approaches for valuing them.

Assessing the value of data is much more complex than valuing conventional assets, and there does not yet exist a framework for doing so that can be shared among policymakers, researchers and industry. Most of the existing literature on data valuation is theoretical, and what empirical work does exist uses market valuations as the basis for estimation, which are not entirely appropriate.

The study will begin with a literature review of the different economic approaches to data valuation. This will be followed by up to 20 stakeholder interviews aimed at developing an understanding of the prevailing market characteristics of data, the reasons why voluntary private data sharing arrangements come about, and the barriers to further opening of public data. Interviews will be carried out with stakeholders in wholly commercial data markets as well as providers of public data in both open and marketed forms.

Based on the interviews, a first draft of the framework will be presented for discussion to a wider group of stakeholders at further interviews and workshops, and then refined for publication.

In addition to the framework, the final study report will include policy recommendations, discuss key conceptual challenges, and identify outstanding questions for research and policy. It is expected to be of significant interest to UK and international policymakers, holders of large datasets, and all those concerned with the use of data and its impact on social well-being.

This project involves Professor Diane Coyle CBE and Dr Stephanie Diepeveen, at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge, and Dr Jeni Tennison, Peter Wells and Lawrence Kay, at the Open Data Institute.

Advisory group:

Azeem Azhar, Exponential View
Joshua Ballantyne, DCMS
Catherine Dennison, Nuffield Foundation
Ray Eitel-Porter, Accenture
Anna Harvey, HM Treasury
Jonathan Haskel, Bank of England MPC & Imperial College
Richard Heys, ONS
Herman Heyns, Anmut
Ed Humpherson, Office of Statistics Regulation
Frank Kelly, University of Cambridge
David Knight, DCMS
Rannia Leontaridi, BEIS
 Stephen Lorimer, GLA
Sergi Martorell, Glass AI 
Reema Patel, Nuffield Foundation
Chris Riley, Mozilla Foundation
Eric Salem, Office for Life Sciences

This is a collaborative project between the Bennett Institute working with the Open Data Institute, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

Nuffield logo