About DataReady

We help you understand, manage and responsibly apply data for social good.

Our Mission

The demand for data governance know-how is growing.

DataReady exists to help the sustainable development and humanitarian sectors navigate the complexities of data governance. As a result, we can better understand, apply and track the value that data generates for society as a whole.

Around the world, policymakers are engaged in a balancing act between the benefits of data use, individuals’ rights and ethical considerations. In many parts of the world, principles and laws informed by the public and social conventions are desperately needed to inform this balancing act.

Within private companies, non-governmental and civil society organisations, the need to know how data use should be balanced against possible risks and rights is now a management issue. It requires executive attention and robust data management strategies and policies.

These issues aren’t just important for our clients and partners, but for society as a whole. There is significant potential for data to improve the quality and effectiveness of development and humanitarian support that people receive. Moreover, when properly managed and made accessible, data can help empower people, combat mis- and dis-information, and improve trust in public bodies.

What is Data Governance

Data are representations of facts. When we speak of ‘data governance’, we are essentially talking about how different kinds of facts are managed and used.

For instance, data such as the number of children in a school in a particular country can help governments to take decisions about how public services and resources are allocated. However, related data that are also useful such as the schoolchildren’s ethnicities, ages or HIV-status are sensitive and need to be protected to preserve their privacy. How should these different kinds of data be managed – collected, stored, shared, used and ultimately disposed of? What kinds of government policies are needed to regulate their use?

Data are contentious. How these questions – and many more like them – are interpreted, approached and balanced are issues at the heart of data governance in the sustainable development and humanitarian sectors.

Our Specialists & Experts

Tom Orrell

Managing Director

Tom is an advocate and unregulated barrister. He founded DataReady in 2018 having identified a need for less technical and more governance-oriented services in the sustainable development and humanitarian sectors.

Tom’s expertise lies in the links between digital and data policy, sustainable development and human rights. Tom has over fourteen years of experience working for UN agencies in Ethiopia and Togo, tech-oriented civil society and social purposes companies, and London-based law firms specialising in human rights law. Tom has a BA in International Relations from Keele University and was Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2011.

Melissa Stock

Consultant Legal Advisor

Melissa is a privacy and information law barrister with experience advising companies, international organisations and individuals on a range of legal data governance issues, including regulatory compliance and litigation.

Melissa’s breadth of experience in information law - from the protection of individual privacy to the commercial aspects of data sharing - gives her unique experience and insight in this field and the multifaceted issues that arise in the use of data. Melissa has a BA in Economics from Manchester University and an MA in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London. Melissa was Called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2012 and has been certified as a privacy specialist by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Our Advisors

Al Kags

Founder and Director, The Open Institute

Al is a serial entrepreneur who has started and grown several successful businesses. Al’s interests lie in working with governments and civil society organisations to use data to promote open government and citizen participation.

"DataReady’s ability to identify and simplify data governance challenges – whether they be policy issues around the need for data protection legislation or practical, operational issues such as balancing data usability and personal privacy within a company – is second to none."

Shaida Badiee

Managing Director, Open Data Watch

Shaida brings over 36 years of experience in managing statistics; including at the World Bank, where as Director of the Development Data Group she launched the publication of flagship products including the World Development Indicators.

"DataReady appreciates how issues such as open data publication, interoperability and data sharing converge and come together in the sustainable development sector. Their consistency in research and the production of accessible guidance for practitioners on these issues is exceptional."