After a quick sandwich lunch, people attending the Open Data Camp in Cardiff were challenged to a debate. Is a single point of access, aka a portal, the best way to open up access to data sources?
Speaking for the debate was Giuseppe Sollazzo, who co-authored a report on the NHS and open data. “One of the things we have discovered is that there is a recommendation for a single point of access. I am not necessarily a fan of a portal, but at this point we have no other option. Continue reading Do we need portals for open data?
“Open data is for government. Open data is for activists. Data science is more serious.”
This is a fake dichotomy, and we need to deal with it. There’s no point in having open data if you can’t analyse it. We all want to get answers to people. And we need to connect the skills better. There’s no good delivering the best analysis in the world if it arrives two days after the decision was made.
Data science has to prove that we can deliver timely analysis based on open data that impacts on decision making.
Continue reading What can open data and data science bring to government?
If open data providers are concerned about how often their data is used, that opens the door to user research. But are they more interested in finding our what else people could do with the data? That’s a much harder task. The user research questions could easily bias the data.
Could it spiral out of control, as the definition of “user” grows too wide?
There’s a fundamental challenge around user research for open data: what would you do if you knew? also, many open data users are highly technical – is that something that makes it harder to run user research, if you’re not yourself technical?
Continue reading Can user research open up open data?
What are the best ways to engage with open data users?
DEFRA did a Bristol user group meeting – and most of the people who turned up weren’t actually using it. They were interested, so they were only potential users. The link came through ODI Bristol, and marketing on Twitter and Eventbrite. How do you find those people otherwise? Getting in the room with people is so important.
Continue reading Engaging with open data users
The Welsh government has set ambitious targets to increase the number of Welsh speakers. At the moment, there are perhaps half a million, but by 2050 the government wants to see 1 million.
Session leader Ben Proctor said this presented an interesting open data challenge. “One of the things we have been kicking around in ODI Cardiff that there might be some useful things to do from a data point of view to inform this [target],” he said.
“We have been looking at whether there are existing models for language growth – there probably are, but we can’t find them – and if not can whether we can take some standard growth models and use them.
Continue reading Using open data to support Welsh speakers
What is open data?
There are loads of examples of open data. It can come in loads of formats. It’s data that’s open and free in accessible formats, that is machine readable. It can be any format – like a jpeg or a PDF, but that latter has become a joke in the community. PDFs are hard to get the data out of in a usable format. It’s great for people but a bit rubbish for computers.
Open data also has a licence, which makes it open. Everything else is just the icing on the cake. OGL or creative commons are common examples.
Continue reading Open Data: the basics for newbies
Wales. Cardiff. The Pierhead. 10.30 on a Saturday morning. It must be Open Data Camp. It must be time for… The Pitches!
(If you’re not familiar with unconferences, this is were attendees suggest the sessions they’d run, and the rest votes…)
Continue reading Open Data Camp 4: The Pitches
Here’s an example of why open data standards are important: Campylobacter, which the biggest cause of food poisoning ilness amongst humans. It’s commonly found in chickens, and the Food Standards Agency is actively monitoring for it. So, how to create a useful set of data standards for it?
The standards we’re discussing are the generic ones that apply to lots of sampling. What could people suggest.
Cost? How is it determined? Specified for each dataset. For the chicken dataset, it’s the cost per entire chicken. Is it a sensible thing to have in?
Continue reading Data standards: sampling chickens in an open data way
Bristol City Council has an open data platform, and a team to work on release and engagement. They also have a mobility API for transport data. How, though, to get more people to use this lovely open data?
The already run hacks – they have one coming up on Saturday 21st May 2016. They also run round tables with community groups. They’re running a session with the University of West of England journalism course pairing journalists with coders to see what they can do. But they need more than hacks – they’re limited to people with a particular technical skill set.
Continue reading Hacking the hack: routes to community engagement with open data
WARNING – liveblogging. Prone to error, inaccuracy and howling affronts to grammar and syntax. Posts will be improved over the next 48 hours
Google doc of this session
How do we evaluate the impact of open data – and prove its worth? A debate at Open Data Camp 3 dived deep into the issues – and came up with a few solutions.
Firstly, getting feedback on data sets seems to a real problem. It’s really hard to get feedback on data other than “that address is wrong”.
Sian from the Food Standards Agency would love to know what people are doing – and building – with their data. And it’s not just about proving commercial value, it’s also about persuading other departments and building the case for open data. Can we build up an armoury of cases to persuade people?
Continue reading Evaluating open data: how do you prove the value?