A site about how community groups and charities can make the most of data and open data to do something useful. Focused on Birmingham, relevant everywhere.

Developed data tells us something about life


A lot of talk (especially on this blog) is all about opening up government data so developers, journalists and citizens can use it in a way which is useful for the public good.

Emma Mulqueeny, who works with government departments to reach this goal and is founder of Rewired State points out on her blog an area about developing data which often gets overlooked by focusing on the fact a lot of public data still needs to be made public. She uses the example of the group of teens at Young Rewired State who set up apps for data – two of which focused on safe routes to school – which tells us something about what needs to be done about safety around those school areas.

She writes:

“The solution is not the app, that might form part of it, but what the development of such an app tells us is that there is a fundamental problem, a very clearly defined one, that needs some attention.”

I think her point is it’s not just opening up data and developing it which serves towards public good – but the government must also follow up how their data is used so they can see areas in need of their influence.

Open data. See it developed. See what needs to be done. Hopefully see some change.

Ideally that process would look like this:

Government opens the data —> people use it to develop a useful app or web tool —>  The government sees how the data is used and is able to highlight areas for improvement —>  The people get what they need

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