Open data is, I’m sure, a phrase most of you will have come across over the last few months/years. Some of you have already begun to embrace the concept and have started making some of your data openly available. Others are about to embark on the journey and others still may be consulting the map to determine the best route. No matter where you are on your open data journey, we are here to help!
What is open data?
Quite simply, open data is data that is published in a way that allows anyone to freely and easily access and use it. This may be in the form of an open, machine readable spreadsheet (.csv) published on a website or an open data feed that allows users to link directly to your data. Whichever format you chose, the data must be clearly labelled as open data.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, it is, particularly when you have organisations like ours that can help!
Starting the ‘open data’ journey…
One of our key aims over the next 5 years is to see significant increases in the availability and use of open data in Wales. We plan to work with local authorities, and other public sector organisations, to develop a public sector open data eco-system. To do this, we need your help! We want to understand where you are on your journey, what barriers/challenges you are facing and, crucially, how we can help you.
We will be running a series of events, the first of these scheduled for the summer, where we’d like to start exploring these questions with you. The workshop-style events will allow you to learn from each other and, hopefully, come away with both the motivation and the knowledge to take the next steps.
We are also keen to explore developing a national open data portal – building on the work we are already doing via InfoBaseCymru and our other data dissemination platforms. This might be a ‘one-stop-shop’ resource for public sector open data in Wales, acting as a publishing platform for public sector organisations from which to publish their open data. It would also bring together data that is already published elsewhere in an open format into one place. We are keen to hear your views on this.
Walking the walk…
As well as working with you to support more availability and better use of open data across the public sector, we are also looking at our own open data - we want to improve the quality and amount of open data we publish and use.
We are also developing the open data area of our website. As well as providing links to useful resources it will contain further information on our open data strategy, our plans for delivering the strategy and our open data.
In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, would like to discuss our plans further or would like to be involved in our open data workshops, please get in touch.
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