From Open Data to Open Analysis


There is massive energy around open data in Brighton now, and a really interesting set of people are gathering.  The people I have met are all keen to learn and we are starting to take a good look at the issues.  I met with Andy Brightwell (@Andbwell) last week of Public-I.  For a man who’s been in town just 4 months, he’s doing pretty damn well!

Andy floated an idea that taps into what a number of people have said is now needed – to roll our sleeves up.  We need to work together, workshop style and get some stuff done.

We are looking at an open analysis group to do things like:

  1. understand the different types of data (location data, live operational, social needs, performance etc) and think around the practical issues with each
  2. work on ways of defining what questions need answering – and pick a few to work on
  3. have hands-on workshops where invited public data experts share their understanding of datasets and standards, and talk through the existing knowledge base
  4. find ways to “micro-task” data re-formatting and re-structuring
  5. explore free analytical tools and ways to interact with datastores
  6. work to actually deliver analytical findings, visualizations and products and find the right places to present them
  7. seek to influence the adoption of open data commons licences across the public sector in the city
  8. help the community develop taxonomies on data types, and standards around dataset structures and metadata, identifying the skills and methods needed to (in time) produce machine readable datasets
  9. work with public sector bodies to develop innovative partnerships between internal data experts and external developers, social media innovators and skilled social researchers

I believe the key to rapid progress will be in “reaching-in” to public sector analysts and giving them the opportunity to share their expertise with us.  This will build a positive circle of innovation where new networks of people inside and outside organisations will work together on projects.

Please post comments against this blog so we can get this idea right and tweet me or @andbwell if you are interested in taking part.  Thanks.

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