Tag Archives: Open Data

Open data camp 6: the final reckoning

No open data camp happens without a LOT of help: from the hosts, the sponsors, the camp-makers, the note-takers, and the livebloggers and drawnalists.

But open data camp is valuable and fun – and bids to host the next one are now being taken. If you want us to come to you, then tell us how wonderful your town is, why you would like to have us, and what you can offer. Details on the website!

To read all about ODCamp6, boot up the Twitter hashtag #ODCamp; read the posts on this blog, or read (and even better add to) the session notes on the session grid spreadsheet.

For now, from Aberdeen, in the immortal words of Looney Tunes:

“That’s all folks!”

How can we become better open data producers?

Our session host, Dan Barrett, head of data and search at the UK Parliament, noted that he’d heard two clear messages from the conference so far:

  1. We need to work ever more closely with the users of the data
  2. Need to avoid working on a technical solution that makes an assumption about who our users are and how they will use the data

What else would make data producers better?

Continue reading How can we become better open data producers?

Beyond the public sector

What’s the problem? Open Data Camp 6 in Aberdeen discussed how to get SMEs to publish and use open data. And session leader Prateek Buch from the DCMS said that was important.

But he also wanted to discuss the bigger issue of how public policy could support other kinds of organisation to release data as open data.

Continue reading Beyond the public sector

Getting Better Open Data at national, regional and local levels

The UK is amongst the best in the world at releasing Open Data at a national level – but the same can’t be said at other parts of government. What can be done?

Could it be that the data at lower levels is less accessible? For every piece of valuable data, there’s at least one local authority doing it well, but rarely more than a couple. For example, around 100 local authorities have published business rates data, but several hundred more haven’t. The vast majority of local authorities haven’t published empty homes data.

Continue reading Getting Better Open Data at national, regional and local levels

Open data for health and social care

Session leader Katya Bozukova said that she works for the Lincolnshire Open Research and Innovation Centre, a university-based team that works with charities and SMEs on data driven innovation, and on projects that address the challenges posed by an ageing population.

Her organisation wants to publish open data around its work: “but we know need to do it in an ethical way.” In the meantime,  she would like to know what data sets are already out there, that her organisation might use. What, she asked, were other session members hoping to get out of the session?

Continue reading Open data for health and social care

Registers: Accountable government lists of things

What is a Register?

Registers are lists of things published on the web and available via an API.

You maintain accountability, via Blockchain-like technologies called Merkle Trees, which allows you to track back through previous changes, and a single source of truth, meaning that people link back to the central source. A Register has a named owner, responsible for the maintenance and updating of that data. They are sometimes called “Custodians” and should be a subject expert in that field. It is possible to have multiple Custodians. There is a Register of Registers – produced by the GDS.

Continue reading Registers: Accountable government lists of things

Data for trustworthy AI

A conversation on a big topic:

Bill Roberts (@billroberts): This occurred to me because I have  been reading a book called Made by Humans by Ellen Broad. People think that AI is magic, but it is created by algorithms that are written by humans, which means that sometimes it works really well and sometimes it does not. I wanted to discuss how to choose data for particular uses and how to interrogate biases. Also, how data publishers can address some of these issues. AI is second only to blockchain in the hype cycle at the moment. So how do we make sure that we make good choices about something that might have a big effect on people’s lives?

Continue reading Data for trustworthy AI

Food waste: is there a role for open data in reducing it?

The amount of food waste in the UK is a huge number, particularly if you translate it into animals. Much of what’s being done about it is in the reduction phase, by redistributing food.

What we don’t know is: are there hotspots for food waste? Supermarkets like Tesco have informal arrangements with charities to pass on food, but don’t really track the wastage systematically. It’s also hard to quantify what is food waste, and what isn’t. All the councils have to report “green” waste that includes garden and plant waste, so it’s hard to separate it. But they don’t track where it goes and how it is treated.

From the value chain perspective it’s better for food to be redistributed rather than recycled.

Continue reading Food waste: is there a role for open data in reducing it?

Starting the open data journey

One of the big questions that often comes up at Open Data Camp is where to start. So at Open Data Camp 6 in Aberdeen there was a session on that subject.

Leader Pauline Roche asked what advice people would give, and the ideas that came back fell into two, broad categories: advice for those who want to publish open data and advice for those who want to use it.

Continue reading Starting the open data journey