As the Open Data Institute celebrates its first birthday, I was lucky enough to be able to attend their first annual summit and Gala dinner. Here are my take away moments from the day, rough and ready.
- Take-aways from the ‘fireside chat”:
- It was great to hear Sir Tim Berners-Lee describing the pivotal moment when Gordon Brown – the then Prime Minister – said “Yes” to putting government data on the web.
- Open data is still seen as geeky and unapproachable – a lot more work is needed to evidence the power of data to transform lives.
- Open data is just as important to the country (any country) as the power distribution network, or the road infrastructure
- It was great to see that, in just 12 months, the ODI is already a global organisation with the creation of ODI Nodes – businesses, academia and NGOs working together.
- “We build tools that make data actionable for citizens” – Catherine Bracy, Code for America
- “The Smart City is dead. Long live the Smart Citizen” – Drew Hemmet, Future Everything and ODI Manchester
- “Sometimes [you] have to push hard to get key data open” – Sir Nigel Shadbolt highlighting that there is still resistance to the Open Data movement / concept
- Take-aways from the Finance & Politics panel discussion:
- There is a need for ‘data aggregators’ (businesses, individuals and tools) to help identify value in divers open datasets
- The US Government treats open data as a strategic asset
- Open complaints data helps identify, prioritise and economise service delivery
- There is enterprise in blending proprietary, open and observed data (e.g. social media streams)
- There’s a clear correlation in the private sector between transparency and public approval
- Mike Flowers – Chief Analytics Officer, NYC – is a great speaker and passionate about his role in NYC’s open data commitment. (Here’s a write up of the work he’s done for the city.)
- Liam Maxwell stated (and in retrospect it seams obvious) that “Government is a data business”
- Take-aways from the “Open for Business” panel discussion:
- After resolving the Millennium bridge wobbles, Arup made all data and diagnostics open and freely available. At the time is was seen as a PR stunt but the data has been used and now more and more companies are doing the same.
- Bank data is (should be) owned by the customer – when they switch banks they should be able to take it with them.
So there you go – I said it would be rough and ready. Comments and questions always welcome.