A Open Data Camp 7 session on registers, led by Andy Bennet of registers.app.
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.
Continue reading Registers: why they matter and how to save them →
Session leader Phil Weir from Flax&Teal said he had decided to pitch the session because his company had been working on a project to report on data sets and issues with them. In the course of doing that, he said, potential users of data said their problem was finding it.
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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 →