Data

Sheffield talks data (like a human) on July 10

By: Eddie Coates-Madden, Head of Communications, Sheffield City Council
Published: Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 19:54 GMT Jump to Comments

In a recent blog post, Dan Slee, director of the communications and PR website Comms2Point0, suggested that open data has a problem.

‘Until enough open data geeks speak human’ he said, ‘open data will not realise its potential’.

His solution was this: ‘Tell people what problem you faced. Not the code problem but the actual real world problem. Then tell them what cracked it. Then mention there’s a bit of open data under the bonnet that helped’.

Sheffield’s first Making a Difference with Data event will be, at least in part, a chance for the rest of the world to get a first look at the bold partnerships between a vibrant open data community and a council that is seeking to create the environment and infrastructure to realise open data benefits.

Perhaps more importantly, the event will showcase what has actually been achieved, in Sheffield and further afield; showing people what the problem is, what cracked it, and with a mention that there’s a bit of open data under the bonnet.

The event is designed to engage and energise decision-makers by illustrating the benefits of opening up data. It will explain how, through publishing open data, better outcomes can be delivered for residents, businesses, voluntary and public services.

Critically it make the case for Open Data through a look at real world solutions such as the Sheffield City Cycle Map, the successful Better with Data Society project Air Quality + (in which three artworks were commissioned, turning data into meaningful objects people can relate to) and a successful partnership with Socrata to develop a culture of making data available freely and openly.

The event will provide a chance to see the impact of work by the Open Data Sheffield community, (a mixed sector group meeting monthly since 2009). That work includes:

- the not-for-profit social enterprise Better With Data (an Open Data Institute node that plugs Sheffield into the global open data community).

- Hack the City - a series of hands-on public events in specific areas, including education, housing, culture and crime. These have fed into the national Open Data Challenge Series competition which has provided graduating teams with £100k of early stage development funding.

- Culture Everywhere - a collaboration between Better With Data and Sheffield's Ignite Imaginations aimed at helping grassroots arts organisations deliver better outcomes through community-based cultural projects.

- Championing data literacy in the next generation of school leavers through the new University Technical College in Sheffield Olympic Park with Data science and analysis being put onto the curriculum for 14-19 year olds, to address a future skills requirement in the city's knowledge economy.

- The Sheffield Smart City programme which has placed open data in a key role to stimulate better public services and opportunities for public, private and third sector organisations in the city

The event opens with John Mothersole, Sheffield City Council Chief Executive addressing ‘the strategic imperative for embracing open data’, and will continue with a series of case studies demonstrating where and how data is ‘making a difference’. These will be presented by Vicky Sargent of Boilerhouse, Nick Booth of Podnosh, Ian Ibbotson and Danny Antrobus of Better with Data, and  Jon Poole of Bath Hacked.

Other speakers include Tim Adams, (LGA); Ellen Broad, (Open Data Institute), Paul Connell, (Open Data Institute Leeds), Catherine Howe (Capita), Rose Mortada (Socrata), Ed Parkes (Nesta), Sharon Squires, (Sheffield Executive Board), Jamie Whyte, (Trafford Innovation & Intelligence Lab), Aline Hayes and Eddie Coates-Madden (Sheffield City Council) and Mark Saunders of Amey, who will introduce the Sheffield Smart Lab Challenge.

Making a Difference with Data takes place on 10 July at Sheffield Town Hall.

Dan Slee's Comms2Point0 post is here

 

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