Open Data Surgery

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See our Open Data Surgery blog post for more information!

Here in the lab, we are adamant that in order to get the greatest value out of the data and intelligence available to us, we need to make sure it is as accessible as possible so that anyone can use it. A big part of this
is about a Big Database, and making sure data / information is easy to discover and easy to use. We are working on this with Swirrl – implementing a linked data store, as a natural successor to the Greater Manchester Data
Synchronisation Programme.

Technical solutions are all well and good, but having worked with data for some years, we reckon that the most effective thing we can do to get people using data is to get out and tell stories, and get people interested. This is why we were
so keen to do data presentations at each of our Locality Workshops in June 2015. It was a great opportunity to get in front of around 280 people, all of whom have influence in different communities in Trafford. The reception was superb – the
data provoked discussion and prompted more questions – some of which we could answer on the spot, others we’ve had to come away to research further. The point is though, that there is a latent appetite for data, and we need to tap into that further.

To try and do this, we’ve decided to start running open data surgeries. On the 17th July, Thrive are holding a funding event at Sale Point – where they give advice to third sector organisations (voluntary and community groups, charities, etc) on funding
– what funding opportunities there are, eligibility, how to apply for it, etc. We think that by piggy-backing off these sessions, we can give advice to these groups (and others) on what sort of open data there is out there to help them
evidence applications for funding, or identify areas that they may be most effective in targeting. Things like deprivation data, road traffic accidents, or crime. We will be there to chat about open data, show some of the things that we’ve
done in the past, and hopefully trigger ideas from outside the Lab on ways we can use data for good.

The first session then, will be on the 17th July, at Sale Point. Following that, we will then hold the surgeries on the first Friday of each month, 13:30 to 16:30. Depending on the levels of interest, we might think about setting up a pop-up Lab in different
parts of Trafford.

Please feel free to come along and meet us to find out what we’re doing – we’re pretty sure that we can help. If we can’t, we want to find out what sorts of things people and organisations would find useful from a data lab.

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