10 potential candidates to become government chief data officer after Bracken leaves Who should get the job when the current CDO Mike Bracken leaves in September? Charlotte Jee Charlotte is the former editor of Techworld. Follow: Charlotte Jee August 21, 2015 Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn The insiders' view of who should be the next UK government chief data officer. Who should get the job when the current CDO Mike Bracken leaves in September? 1. 10 top candidates to become government chief data officer Government chief data officer Mike Bracken is set to leave the civil service in September to become chief digital officer at the Co-operative group. His departure leaves a vital role at the heart of Whitehall unfilled: someone able to help the government finally start to make sense of its vast reams of data and how it should (and shouldn’t!) be used. Formal responsibilities as CDO, a post which has only existed for five months, include developing a new government data standard and helping to set up the National Information Infrastructure: akin to a road network or power grid, but for open data. They will champion open data and encourage greater use of data in decision-making across government, according to the Cabinet Office. They will also be tasked with helping to boost data analysis skills and capability across government. Who could be up to taking on such an important role? Here are some of the names suggested by data-savvy insiders to ComputerworldUK – do you have any more suggestions? 2. John Pullinger: UK National Statistician and head of the Government Statistical Service © YouTube/getstats Pullinger has a lot of titles to his name: he became UK National Statistician, head of the GSS and chief executive of the UK Statistics Authority in July 2014. He is also chief executive of the Office for National Statistics. He has had an impressive career, heading up information services for UK Parliament after two decades at the then-Central Statistical Office (now the ONS). 3. Paul Maltby: director of open data and government innovation at the Cabinet Office © YouTube/Whitehall Media Maltby has been open data director at the Cabinet Office since January 2013, a post which requires him to promote data publication, manage requests for datasets from different departments and support them in publishing information. He previously held a number of roles within Whitehall departments and IPPR, a thinktank. 4. Jeni Tennison: technical director at the Open Data Institute © Eduserv Tennison has been the ODI’s technical director since it was set up in 2012, during which time she has helped the government to set up open standards across Whitehall and pushed for more and better quality data to be released openly. She is universally well-liked across the government digital community. 5. John Sheridan: head of legislation services at the National Archives © Wikimedia/Nick Cooper Sheridan is well-respected in government digital and data circles and a passionate advocate of linked data. As head of legislation services at the National Archives, a post he’s held for five years, he helped to set up the UK law website legislation.gov.uk with an open API, allowing third party applications to use the data. He was recommended by multiple sources for the role, suggesting he would be a popular choice. (Photo unavailable) 6. Tom Steinberg: mySociety founder and director until 2015 © Wikimedia/Ter-burg Steinberg set up civic tech non-profit mySociety in 2003, leading the launch of tools like the Hansard website TheyWorkForYou.com and FixMyStreet, an app that lets people tell their council about problems, for example broken street lamps, that need fixing. By happy coincidence, at least for the CDO post, he stepped down as director this summer and intends to be, in his words, ‘blissfully unemployed’ for a while, until he figures out what to do next. 7. Heather Savory: director general for data capability at the Office for National Statistics © Keith Chaloner Savory is seen as a credible candidate for CDO. She is currently working to improve ONS data services and boost capability within the organisation, a post she took up in May. She was previously a well-regarded chair of the Open Data User Group and has held a number of senior roles within the civil service and tech sector. 8. Peter Wells: head of engagement at Open Addresses © Flickr/EMC Wells has gained increasing respect within government circles after he led the Labour Party’s digital government review last year, producing a well thought-out report in November 2014. He is currently working at Open Addresses, a startup that aims to create an open address file for the UK that anyone can use, after a career at various telecoms and IT companies. 9. Tim Kelsey: NHS England’s national patients and information director © YouTube/NHS England Kelsey as CDO could split the crowd – if indeed it is a role he would want. Although seen as clever, experienced and capable, he has faced flak in his current post at NHS England for the botched implementation of GP data collection scheme Care.data. He led efforts to open up public sector data as the UK’s first transparency director in 2012. 10. Neil Crockett: CEO at Digital Catapult © Vimeo/techUK Crockett leads government-backed UK tech hub Digital Catapult, which aims to help UK startups scale up into bigger companies and promote innovation. He was previously head of UK public sector and Olympics delivery for networking giant Cisco. 11. Stephen Black: senior manager at Deloitte and former NHS consultant © The Times/Stephen Black Unlike others on the list, Black still works in the private sector, currently at Deloitte and previously at PA Consulting for 19 years. His main focus has been on health data to improve the NHS and other health systems. He started his career at the Department of Health and has consulted on various NHS projects. A long shot perhaps, but tipped as a potential candidate should the government wish to look beyond its borders.