How Registers of Scotland is making its data more accessible

Registers of Scotland (RoS) holds the oldest national public land register in the world, dating back to 1617.

One of the key challenges RoS is addressing is how to make the wealth of information held in its registers accessible and able to serve everyone who uses them. This might mean citizens that are interested in house prices or policy makers seeking to understand more about the demands of the property sector in a specific area. 

In a recent blog post, Chief Data Officer Alan Howie outlined plans to develop a centralised, managed datastore that can provide agile andAlan Howie-1 accessible land and property data to the people of Scotland.

“Our vision is for RoS to unlock the full potential of its data assets through machine-readable data services, maximising value to the citizens of Scotland, RoS, and its customers.”

Currently much of the data work must be done manually, Howie said. "This means that we must get maximum value from our resources and focus on the areas where customers have told us they benefit the most." The ultimate goal, however, is to have a more structured approach to the department’s most important datasets - one that reduces human interpretation, maximises automation, and delivers new services and analysis directly to customers. 

To this end, Howie and his team are focusing on three objectives over the next year: ensuring that the core land register information is machine readable data, delivering automated, high-quality data products and services to RoS customers, and improving insights through automated self-service analytics to enhance business intelligence and respond to bespoke requests.  

By the end of 2024, Howie hopes to have made “significant progress” in developing a centralised, managed datastore to house structured data. “This will enable us to increase the breadth of information available to customers as well as the potential use of APIs. This in turn will deliver an improved service to customers who will be able to benefit from easier, more efficient, low-cost data products,” he said.

“We are excited to hit this milestone and the potential that more accessible data can offer to the organisation, our customers and Scotland as whole.”

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