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The aim of the project was to develop a series of potential strategies for improving the sharing of business data between regulators. To realise these aims, government needs to better understand what regulatory data are collected from business, as well as how those data are used and their significance in achieving regulatory objectives. The specific objectives were therefore to:

  • determine the types of regulatory data that could most readily be shared;
  • determine the types of regulatory data that could be shared to greatest effect;
  • investigate (a) cultural and (b) technical barriers to greater data sharing;
  • provide an indication of the potential costs and benefits of sharing various types of data for both regulators and business;
  • determine the extent to which (a) support and/or (b) intervention is required to promote greater sharing between regulators of business information;

The research methods were:

  • 2 stage literature review of the primarily grey literature on regulatory data and data sharing plus primarily academic literature on regulatory data collection and use, suitability of data for sharing, data access, security, legal barriers, reliability, cost etc.
  • Online survey to obtain factual information on data collection and use, attitudes to data sharing, and perceptions of barriers to sharing.
  • Interviews to identify how issues around data usage, type, form, complexity, reliability are perceived by key decision-makers, regulatory data managers, technicians and analysts in regulatory organisations.
  • 3 case studies following the flow of regulatory data, to examine the above factors in more detail but also the significance of relational issues in the regulatory data supply chain.

The outputs were a presentation of interim findings and a substantive analytical report for publication by BRDO, with recommendations for next steps in improving regulatory data sharing.