Open Data – Did we work it all out?

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Cymraeg

You may recall we previously told you about our plans for an Open Data Workshop. Well, last month we brought together over 50 people working for the public sector, private organisations and the third sector (such as charities). It was great to see such a range of people and organisations with an interest in open data. We were also pleased that those who attended found it useful, and we would like to thank them all for making it an entertaining, enjoyable and thought provoking event.

Getting the discussion going

The day kicked off with a workshop session, facilitated by Ben Proctor of ODI Cardiff, which got everyone talking about open data. Using a force field analysis approach (don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds!) Ben encouraged us to work in groups to identify things which we think are helping us and things that are hindering us on open data. Some of the perceived barriers identified included GDPR, copyright, data maturity, skills and knowledge, publishing platforms and data quality.

Would guidance help?

Using the outcomes from these discussions, the session then focused upon whether open data guidance in Wales was required and if so, what should it cover?

Image showing a selection of post-it notes from the workshop showing some barriers and drivers for open data and suggestions for what to include in open data guidance

The debate that followed was wide ranging, however, there was general agreement that guidance would be beneficial and should take into account the following:

Diagram showing suggestions for what should be taken into account in open data guidance. These include: Advice on data quality, Where to find open data?, How to publish open data?, Skills & resources, Sources of advice, Case studies and good practice guides, Use clear language in the guidance, Which datasets should be published openly?, Welsh language, Licencing, Data standards & metadata, Where to publish open data?

What else are we doing in Welsh Government?

After a fair bit of discussion, it was good to have a chance to demonstrate what we have been doing in Welsh Government to help people find and publish open data.

Those attending were positive about our plans to transform Lle, our geospatial data platform, into Data Map Wales. Developed in partnership with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Lle has moved on from the early days of just publishing environmental data, with data now available on a range of topics. However, as we mentioned in one of previous blog posts, the new and improved Data Map Wales will go further and provide a shared data platform for all public bodies in Wales to be able to publish their data.

There was also real interest in the prototype we’ve been developing for an open data catalogue. The comments and queries raised during these sessions will no doubt help us in our ongoing work on these projects.

Where we go next

As we’ve already said it was great to see so many people with a real interest in open data and we are keen to keep working with them. We are hoping to build on the ideas/suggestions raised at the workshop to collaboratively develop open data guidance for the public sector, to help overcome some of the barriers identified. We will let you know how we are getting on with this work by providing regular updates, so look out for these in the new year.

During the day a number of people asked about similar open data events in other areas of Wales. We have already been in contact with our colleagues in Data Cymru and we are hoping to arrange some follow up events, and where possible we will include some of the work being done by other public sector bodies in Wales.

In the meantime, if you have any comments or queries please send an e-mail to digitalanddatablog@gov.wales

 

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