Open data mission complete

Open data mission complete

The first 12 months for Bath: Hacked have been incredible. It’s time to take a little breather.

It’s less than a year since I first posted about our little open data group in Bath and I’m proud to say our achievements in that short time are way beyond anything I expected.

Our group started with very little real knowledge of what open data really is, its wider implications or the policy framework that surrounds it. That turned out to be an advantage: We simply busted on through because we didn’t know any better.

From a standing start, here’s what we managed:

Best of all, we did it on a tiny budget that itself already feels mildly contentious: Bigger cities are spending many times more than we did but are moving more slowly, with lower engagement. There have been a lot of questions about why this happened, and there are a lot of answers, but the key for me is that if you care and work hard, money isn’t all that important.

Money doesn’t make open data worthwhile. People do.

End of the beginning

Open data seems finally to be entering the political vocabulary and I’m optimistic we’ll see an ever increasing deluge of it. Bath: Hacked is now at a crossroads and the next phase will be about solidifying its achievements and continuing to widen engagement.

First and foremost, that will mean a little more structure and some less chaotic funding. It looks like forming a CIC will be the way forward and I suspect that will take up some time over the next few months.

Time for a break…

I had absolutely no idea what being the first Chair of Bath: Hacked would involve and it turned out to be pretty consuming. I gave up a day a week for a good part of this year which came at some cost, and sadly I’ve now hit a wall on time. Unfortunately I do need to earn some more money at the day job.

So for now, I’ll be taking a step back and have resigned the Chair. The extraordinarily capable Jon Poole and Leigh Dodds are taking up the reins to keep the group pushing forward which allows me some breathing space.

We’re in very safe hands, and probably way better hands!

Thank you

Good people made this work so I’d like to say a special thanks to Doug and Ben at Socrata for being both patient and inspiring, Bath’s developer community for being just plain talented, BANES staff for being hard working and open, and our steering group – who sweated and toiled and never stopped turning up.

I’m sure 2015 will be another brilliant year and I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds.

Keep shipping people.

Play Bath Open data