Tag: Sainsburys

A new form of planning gain: Supermarkets share their data with the public (sector)

New Optimists listening to the conversation about food at last night forum
New Optimists listening to the conversation about food at last night forum

Below are some questions but first the context:

Last night I was working on the first of a series of conversations about how Birmingham will feed itself way into the future.  The New Optimists Forum is organised by Kate Cooper who has the very powerful idea of getting groups of scientists from different disciplines and policy makers to think about this thorny problem.  She argues, I think rightly, that getting practical about problems and places helps us understand best what we need to change now.

One of the scientists was Ian Nabney who talked about the opportunities that will come to make better decisions about complex problems when we have more data and more power to crunch and use that data.  Here’s what he said.
Ian Nabney – the future of food and opendata ? (mp3)

It made me ask the question what if we created a new form of planning gain: supermarkets share their data with us rather than build a new badminton court. 

Could knowing what they know about our eating habits help us lead healthier and better lives?

Mark Braggins Tweeted this this morning:

Mark Braggins tweet on depersonlaised data
@markbraggins on twitter

And it also tickled a local MP’s curisosity.  Richard Burden (who’s Northfield constituency may have a few urban “food deserts”, another idea kicked around at last night’s forum)  tweeted this question about half an hour ago:


So here are some questions:

  1. Is asking supermarkets to share their data a good form of planning gain?
  2. If so in what form would we want it – opendata, depersonalised or maybe full data to be share just with civil servants
  3. What would be the arguments against (so we can anticipate) or just how naive is this! ?
  4. How would Kate Cooper of the New Optimists go about talking to sainsbury’s about this?
  5. Would you rather have a new pavilion at the local park?

Odd what comes out of combining real world conversations with online stuff!


Looks like Adrian Short was thinking about supermarket card data as a public good back in April – scroll to the bottom of this post.