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The why question: what is the purpose of open data?

Leader Nick Ananin, a project officer at Aberdeen City Council, explained that he had pitched the session because he was “confused”.

He explained that he was a system designer, and the first question a system designer always asks is: “What is the purpose of the system?” From that, he argued, it is possible to ask questions like: what products and functions will be needed to deliver that; and what controls will be put on them.

“So, in terms of open data, I started to think “how can we make sure that local authorities, when we publish data and add metadata, publishing the right data and adding the right meta data?” Get this wrong, he warned, and it would be impossible for potential users to find information, or for publishers to make sure it met their needs.

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