There are people in every corner of the world working on open government data, producing it as well as creating applications and solutions from it. The team working on Open Data Nottingham are a great example, there mission, summed up nicely on their site, is:
“Open Data Nottingham has been developed to support and facilitate Nottingham City Council’s commitment to Open Data. Open Data is the idea that certain data (non-personal) should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other control mechanisms. This is outlined in the Government’s Open Data White Paper published in June 2012.”
You can read the full mission statement here.
I reached out and asked them how their efforts are going and Karen, a member of the team at Open Data Nottingham, responded with:
Nottingham City Council’s open data platform Open Data Nottingham has senior management support and, as an organisation, we are committed to publishing non-personal data to the site. We recognise that the benefits of publishing our data as open data include:
- Helping reduce requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Reduce the time and resource required to fulfill such requests
- Making information more accessible to citizens
- Supporting economic growth.
We aim to publish some new data each week. Wherever possible, we are incorporating the maintenance of the data we publish to Open Data Nottingham within our normal data maintenance activities. We are talking to various data ‘owners’ about streamlining these processes where ever possible by linking directly to the systems in which the data is held, before processing and publishing the data as open data. Further information about our approach to open data is available from here: http://www.nottinghaminsight.
Answering the question about how much our site is used is not so easy – over the past month there have been over 300 different users, with about 20 different users each day. We have had a handful of users who’ve praised the work we’re doing, but even so I don’t think we have a real picture of who is accessing our data or how it is being used.
I also asked Karen if they are seeing a return on this investment. It’s early in their efforts, but Karen notes:
It is still early days yet for us to be able to measure savings made as a result of launching Open Data Nottingham. We have, however, had positive feedback from some data owners who have been able to signpost data published on the site. We hope that the number of FOI requests will reduce noticeably as we publish more data in the future.
Do you want to learn more or even participate? Stop by their site and jump in.Tags: Open Government, freedom of information act, freedom of information, nottingham city council, freedom of information act 2000, government data