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:
- understand the different types of data (location data, live operational, social needs, performance etc) and think around the practical issues with each
- work on ways of defining what questions need answering – and pick a few to work on
- have hands-on workshops where invited public data experts share their understanding of datasets and standards, and talk through the existing knowledge base
- find ways to “micro-task” data re-formatting and re-structuring
- explore free analytical tools and ways to interact with datastores
- work to actually deliver analytical findings, visualizations and products and find the right places to present them
- seek to influence the adoption of open data commons licences across the public sector in the city
- 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
- 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.