Opening up our data

We’re seeking to open up the data behind Scottish Official Statistics. By making the data easier to use and access we hope that people will use it in innovative ways to generate new insights, and greater impact of data and evidence in decisions. This should help to deliver high quality efficient public services that are responsive to local people’s needs.

In July my team commissioned Lockheed Martin in partnership with Swirrl to design an Open Data Publishing Platform and a new Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics user interface. We were happy with the outputs of this project and have extended the contract until the end of the year for them to develop an alpha version of their design. If we’re happy with that then we will seek to extend the contract again and we would hope to launch a live version at the end of March 2015.

At the start of the year I wrote a guest blog for the Open Data Institute on increasing the availability and usability of Scottish Government data. I discussed some work that we had commissioned to find out about how the Scottish Government could apply an Open Data approach. This involved the creation of a pilot website. This work greatly helped to inform our plans for making our data more open.

In February 2014 students from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics used data from the pilot site as part of a five day Smart Data Hack. I helped out as one of the judges and it was great to see what the students created.