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Showing posts from October, 2012

Anthropology and Open Data

  I have been frustrated by what I have been reading lately about the use of anthropological techniques when applied to Big Data and to Open Data. While I hear the arguments on both sides (Big Data can tell us nothing, Big Data can tell us everything) Big Data can show a shift in behavior and this can affect design choices as it relates to the whole user experience. Folks are correct in asserting that a lot of what was important to anthropologists in the past may not be seen as that important today. I think though we have a very important contribution to make in understanding big data and in the task of implementing open data and creating transparency in government. Back to big data- in analyzing seven years of click tracking data for a public sector website, i noticed a shift in the use of referral traffic to a specific page within this website versus a browse from the homepage starting point. Indeed when I did a visitor path analysis i noticed over seven years a precipitous drop in &

Followup to Anthropology and Open Data

  I am currently working on a white paper detailing an approach to Open Data policies from a social sciences perspective. In preparation for this I have gathered some information on the resurgence of cultural anthropology and some of the data modeling that is going on within the anthropology community. The white paper will also detail the plan for the City of Raleigh's Open Data program to effectively mine data and analyze patterns to create visualizations for public consumption (not info-graphics). From that we may be able to recognize patterns of behavior in response to city programs. We can at least start to tackle issues when we see programs fail and emulate those that are successful. Thank you for your patience.

Open Data Strategy- Economic Drivers

  Below is a collection of Open data initiatives focused on economic drivers to make a business case for an open data initiative. I sent this list to a colleague yesterday in response to a discussion on federating data between my municipality and the state government. Denmark This is a link to a blog posting and in the blog posting is a link to Denmark’s ROI report on cost savings since implementing Open Data- the caveat is I feel the ROI data is at a very high level (50k foot level) without breaking it down into enough specifics: http://inferringvalue.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/open-government-data-report-on-denmarks-egovernment-strategy-2011-2015/ Australia In 2011 ANDS (Australian National Data Service) commissioned the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University to examine the costs and benefits of public sector organizations making their data (Public Sector Information or PSI) freely available. The study was undertaken by Professor John Houghton, a prominent economi