Opening data

I think I’m finally beginning to win the argument over open data.  It has been a long haul and there are many sceptics.  They are quite right to be so, as it’s very hard to prove the benefits of opening up data for all to see.  Some projects have done it very well and are already seeing some benefits while some are only dipping their toes into the water.  We have taken off our socks and have rolled up our trouser legs.

It is a Catch 22.  We met as a group and agreed that we couldn’t understand the benefit of open data until we tried it yet until we are permitted to try it we have to demonstrate the benefit.  You can’t win with such a stance.

So we are going to give it a go, with some limited data on an existing open data platform, using the data sets that support a lot of the information that we are already publishing. Hopefully this will allow the user community to get a hold of something and start to shed some light on whether this is what they want or not.

We’ve also agreed to hold a hackathon.  Am I allowed to use this word?  You know what I mean though.  We are working with Durham University’s Students Entrepreneur Society who are desperate to get their hands on some useful data and, I think pleased to be working with us.  We are being supported by our friends in the Durham Business Improvement District, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Satellite Catapult and of course, Business Durham.  We’re going to go with a theme along the lines of ‘Improving the economic prosperity of Durham City’. The event is planned for January and we have a lot of organising to go on before then.  At least it feels like a step forward.

Ooh, the water feels refreshing.  Come on in and join us.

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