The Data Standards Authority (DSA) works to improve how the public sector manages data. The DSA does this by establishing standards to make it easier and more effective to share and use data across government.
What the DSA does
The Data Standards Authority was established in April 2020 as a multi-disciplinary team drawn from a variety of data-related backgrounds in technology, strategy and policy. Working with experts across the wider public sector and devolved administrations, the private sector and academia, the DSA identifies, improves and helps implement data standards that meet user needs.
The DSA leads the cross-government conversation around data standards, engaging regularly with the wider data community to address challenges together.
How the DSA is governed
The DSA is open and transparent about its processes and decisions. To achieve this, the DSA has a steering board that shapes our work and acts as a decision-making body. The steering board receives support from a peer review group of cross-government subject matter experts. Assisting the peer review group are other experts from government data communities, including the Government Data Architecture Community and the API and Data Exchange Community of Practice.
Guidance and resources for data projects
The DSA recommends a number of standards, guidance and other resources your department can follow when working on data projects.
The GOV.UK Service Standard assists teams in creating and running great public services. When working on data projects, the DSA recommends Service manual guidance to help you to:
improve metadata sharing across government
choose data tools and infrastructure that are flexible, scalable, sustainable and secure
Technology Code of Practice
The Technology Code of Practice (TCoP) is a set of cross-government criteria to help design, build and buy technology. When planning data projects, the DSA recommends you pay particular attention to certain parts of the TCoP, which you can use to:
make use of open data standards to build technology that’s easier to expand, upgrade and use with other technologies
plan and design projects that meet data security requirements
protect citizens’ rights by integrating data privacy regulations (GDPR) into your projects
make better use of data by improving your technology, infrastructure and processes
manage your data for access, reuse and independent maintenance outside specific technologies or services
Working with APIs
The use of APIs can be core to starting and developing data projects. The following resources will help you make the best of working with APIs, assisting you to:
design, build and run APIs to deliver the best service to users
discover APIs in the government API Catalogue to increase the reuse of data and duplication of effort in your data projects
meet API technical and data standards to help you deliver better services
Get in touch with us
If you’re a public sector worker looking for help or information about ways to use data in government, you can get in touch with the DSA by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also join the conversation on our cross-government Slack channel and collaboration space for data standards and guidance on GitHub.