Open Data Initiative Advocacy Presentation

Advocating for and with Open Data
Development Data Group
Advocating for and with Open Data
What is open data?
How do you advocate for open data?
How do you advocate with open data?
Data doesn’t change the world
People do
Data doesn’t appear by itself
People make and curate it
Data doesn’t tell the whole truth
Data needs context
What is open data?
It’s data that’s technically open
You can search for it and find it easily online
It’s available in an editable electronic format
xls, json, txt, csv, xml, html,
doc, API, odt, ods etc.
PDF, images (JPG, GIF, PNG),
other proprietary formats.
What is open data?
It’s data that is legally open
You can use it freely
You can re-use it freely
You can redistribute it freely
Use it for commercial and non-commercial purposes
It may require that you attribute the publisher when the data is used
All of the above should be clear in a usage license or terms of use
How to advocate for open data
The main arguments for open data:
e.g. Who is doing what, where? Where does the money go?
Let others see your data, interact and provide feedback
Let others finds ways of improving what you’re doing
Let people do new things with your data
How to advocate for open data
Ask yourself:
What kinds of questions do you want to answer?
What datasets do you need?
What data is already collected and published?
How to advocate for open data
Find the owners and publishers of the data and:
Demonstrate the value of open data to you
What are the questions you want to answer?
What similar things have others done internationally?
Demonstrate the value of open data for everyone
You only have to open up data once.
A community of use around open data benefits all.
How to advocate with open data
What do you want to change?
Have a clear issue in mind
How can change come about?
Have a clear mechanism for change in mind
Who can help you bring about change?
Understand your audiences and their capabilities
Data should support your message
Data should not be your message.
Remember basic data literacy!
Percentage differences can be deceptive
From 2% to 4% is a 100% increase - it may sound more significant than it is.
Make sure your comparisons are valid
Do the numbers you’re comparing mean the same thing? e.g. GDP and GNI are different.
Be careful when visualizing data
Graph scales can mislead, chose right method, pie charts are rarely useful, avoid “chartjunk”
Don’t forget to consider and cite the data source
Can you trust the source of the data? Where did it come from, how and why was it
produced? People will trust your data more if you cite it, particularly if it’s a reputable
What advocacy with open data can look like
1. An institution makes open data available online
2. Advocate transforms it into new form that
people can better access, use and understand
3. People access information in this new form and
take the action advocated desire
Represent Data in new ways
Put data into context
UK public
open data
available online
Useful - but hard
to engage with!
Put data into context
The same
expenditure data
visualised to give
it more meaning
Put data into context
The same
expenditure data
Put data into context
New ways of delivering data
Personalise your advocacy
Data relevant to an issue is often available at a local level.
Present people with information that’s relevant to where they are.
Data support
• Metadata
– Definitions
– Sources
• Helpdesk –
• Feedback directly from the site