This session was led by John Kellas, an expert in community development in healthcare, and the “complicated” subject of healthcare, AI and licensing. He asked people to share anything they felt was important, with a view to making recommendations to policy makers.
“In 2017, I helped run a series of webinars on AI in healthcare,” he said, “and on the back of that I was asked to be part of the Academic Health Science Network core AI advisory group and support the development of a national survey on AI in healthcare.
“I was already interested in open data and open source, so I asked for a small question on licensing to be included in this survey. What we found was that about 38% was proprietary, and much less was open source, although there was a lot of ‘don’t want to say’ or ‘don’t know.’
“Since then, we’ve had a £250 million pot for AI in the NHS, and some vague talk about a value return. But I think there is room for something stronger. Because it’s clear that the data for AI is very valuable, and it’s reasonable to think that patients should get some return for it.
“And at the moment, there seems to me to be an issue around whether the NHS is going to procure AI, or develop it, and how we are going to secure that value is not really clear.”
The first thing to know about unconferences is that there’s no agenda.
What happens is decided by the participants. People make a 30 second pitch for a session, and everyone votes for whether they want to go along. The campmakers keep track and use sticky-notes to draw up a grid of what is happening where.
Pitching for Open Data Camp 8 has just been taking place in the auditorium of the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus (described, fairly, by someone walking in as: “A lot posher than your average unconference.”
We’re at the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus, which is a modern building, updating a brewery, and who couldn’t like that? Ahead of us lie two days of ‘unconferencing’ about all things open data.
Stand by for updates on the pitching, the discussions about the hot topics in data collection and use, and some great examples of why open data really matters. It’s going to lively, it’s going to be FUN…
And so, as night draws in, the latest Open Data Camp draws to a close. Thank you to all the sponsors, the camp organisers, and the campers. Open Data Camp moves around: it has now been in Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester and Winchester. Where will it be next? That depends on… someone volunteering to take it on…
If you are interested in hosting the event, then get in touch. But, for now, catch up on all the blog posts, Tweet (using the hashtag #ODCamp), blog, and generally pass on all the good stuff from two great days. And we’ll see you at the next one.
An Open Data Camp 7 session on data visualisation, led by Ian Makgill. These are live-blogged notes.
There is a lot of temptation to use really exciting visualisations. But 90% of the time, you end up with bar or line charts – because they work. If you have more than 20 data points along the x axis, you probably want a line chart, not a bar chart.
We’re celebrating the tenth anniversary of @instituteforgov this week, which provides a great opportunity to look back on everything we’ve done with data down the years.
Just a few days after Halloween, and with pumpkins adorning the refreshment tables at Open Data Camp 7, campers gathered at the end of day two to swap open data horror stories. Or, as leader Dan Barrett put it, to learn from their experiences and mistakes. Because that can be cathartic — and helpful for others.
Areflection on working at [a large public institution] and spending six years trying to improve its open data division. “I recognised that there was a division between its work and public understanding of what it did. And I thought open data could help to bridge that.” Things were going fairly well. “And then they went spectacularly badly, and the work stopped.”
What did the teller learn? “That it is important to own the story of your own work, and to think about how you tell it to other people,” particularly in an environment in which others are seeking to benefit from telling a counter-narrative, “discounting the work you do, playing down the benefits of what you do”, and diverting resources to other priorities. “So that is the lesson I am taking into a new role: Tell stories that resonate with everybody about data.”
Post lunch on the second day of Open Data Camp 7, and Simon Worthington from Register Dynamics set up a practical session to making a start on a guide to getting started with open data. With sticky notes, of course. So, he asked participants, what would they have needed to know when they were getting started? And what resources would they have pointed people towards the answer those questions?
A session on rescuing usable data supplied in PDFs, led by Martin.
A client of one of the session participants needed an automated process to check which PDFs had changed data in them – and which didn’t. They had been doing it manually. However, a computational solution isn’t as easy as it looks. For example, software often finds it hard to spot a table. It’s relatively easy to extract data from a table in a PDF, if it looks clearly like a table – borders around “cells”. However, many tables in PDFs are clear to humans – but not to computers. Extracting those sorts of tables is much more tricky.
At the end of 2015, there was a project in the Government Digital Service about the structure of data. There was open.gov.uk, where the data was quite unstructured. The consumer had to wrangle it into the form they needed. In the legalisation, there were hundreds of thousands of mentions of registers – datasets that different departments and minsters needed to keep. The idea was to publish these registers of things government knows.
One core principle: these are owned and maintained registers. This makes them about governance – about making sure that there are people in positions of power with responsibility for them. You can’t spread the decision-making around – it has to be a named individual. There’s been some work done by the Open Data Institute in the last year about collaborative ownership models.
So he wanted to run a retrospective of the first ten years of open data at Open Data Camp 7 in London: and to find out from campers what their experience had been: “the good, the bad, the in between.”
First, the book. “We recognised sometime last year that we were coming up on a decade since President Obama made a splash on open data in the US and the UK launched the Open Data Institute. So we put up some Google documents and looked at seven areas to brainstorm thoughts about what had happened in them.”
More than 200 people pitched in ideas, and commented on events and initiatives from different perspectives. Then, the authors – 40% of whom were women, and many of whom come from the global south – were asked to comment and revise what became 6,000 word chapters.