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Showing posts from August, 2016

WHAT IS METADATA AND WHY IS IT AS IMPORTANT AS THE DATA ITSELF?

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Metadata. You may have heard the term before, and may have asked yourself either “what is metadata” or “why is it as important as data?” This article will be an attempt to clear up those two subjects. As this can often be quite dense, let’s jump right in! Metadata can be explained in a few ways: Data that provide information about other data. Metadata summarizes basic information about data, making finding & working with particular instances of data easier. Metadata can be created manually to be more accurate, or automatically and contain more basic information. In short, metadata are important. I like to answer this “what is metadata” question as such: metadata are a shorthand representation of the data to which they refer. If we use analogies, we can think of metadata as references to data. Think about the last time you searched Google. That search started with the metadata you had in your mind about something you wanted to find.…

WHY MIKE BRACKEN AND JASON HARE LEFT OPEN DATA...

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I didn't want to be vain and write a piece about why I decided to not pursue open data any further. I waited until someone else's reason matched mine. That someone was Mike Bracken! Mike Bracken, whom I respect greatly, summed it up nicely. "I just got tired." He is right. Only those who have done it, managed an IT department, been a police officer or worked in open data know what the pressure is like. My only addition to Mike's words below is that we only have power to open data as much as we have the nerve to push public sector to do so. This is a quote piece from Computer Weekly- the article is written by Bryan Glyck and can be read here: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/4500251662/Interview-Government-digital-chief-Mike-Bracken-why-I-quit Mike Bracken, the outgoing director of the Government Digital Service, talks exclusively to Computer Weekly about his departure from Whitehall
Sometimes what is not said can be just as important a…

SOMETHING’S (JOHNNY) ROTTEN IN DENMARK

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Hitachi Insight Group is Repackaging Open Data Hitachi Insight Group’s City Data Exchange pilot in Copenhagen is the latest attempt at a model of monetization around Open Data. There are some hurdles, both practical and ethical, that this model will have to overcome. Repackaging public data for resell limits re-use, accessibility and may push ethical boundaries when public data is enriched with private data. I see ethical problems taking two tracks: Personally identifiable information is more likely when public data is enriched with private data and used in a less-than-transparent manner. This is also known as the “Mosaic Effect”. “Mosaic Effect”, small fact, is a term invented by the intelligence community in the US. No longer do we have transparent government, instead we have transparent citizens. For more information on this etymological footnote, read Victor V. Ramraj’s brilliant book Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy. Public data, O…

THE 4TH AND LAST WHITE HOUSE OPEN DATA ROUNDTABLE: OPEN DATA FOR PUBLIC-PRIVATE COLLABORATION

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As we saw in our recap of the2nd White House Open Data Round Table, data quality is crucial to Open Data. But looking further than just this one massive subject, it is also crucial to the growth ofPublic-Private collaboration through data interoperability. The White House releases Open Data in the context of an asset. “Data as an asset” is encoded on the White House policy of “open by default” detailed in memorandum M13-13. To make possible the release of higher value Open Data to the public, the White House Office of Science and Technology (OST) in conjunction with the Center for Open Data Enterprise, convened four Roundtables. This last Roundtable was on Public-Private Collaboration. OPEN DATA AS AN ASSET The Center for Open Data Enterprise’s own page on the Roundtables states their objectives: Identify Open Data case studies, learned lessons, and best practices across the Federal Government; Strengthen a community of technical, legal, and pol…

FRANCE WILL SERVE AS LEAD CHAIR ON THE OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP STEERING COMMITTEE IN OCTOBER 2016

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This was first published on the OpenDataSoft monthly newsletter. Wanna receive fresh news about data every month?  Sign-up here.Putting 'Access' Back into Open and Accessible France will serve as Lead Chair on the Open Government Partnership steering committee from October 2016. As such, France will host the OGP Summit on December 7, 8 and 9.
The agenda for the Global Summit will be based on an open call for proposals. Proposals you can still vote for. Here's ours: Putting 'Access' Back into Open and Accessible Over 60% of datasets hosted on data.gov cannot necessarily be understood and effectively used by a wide range of users. This situation is reflective of a larger problem in Open Data: it is still limited to users with advanced technical skills. If only a small group with technical skills can understand data when they are published in their raw form, can such data be considered 'o…

FUZZY NUMBERS: OBSERVATIONS ON MEASURING USER BEHAVIOR ONLINE

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As much as we would like to have precise data on how users interact with devices, we are not there yet. This is not an in-depth study of analytics methodology but a statement about how I see web analytics used and some of the apples and oranges comparisons I have seen.  To those that practice measuring user behavior online this may seem obvious. To those that rely on reports about user behavior online this may at first be an unsettling opening statement. I have recently come across a few instances where the definitions and nomenclature used by technical and marketing people vary in definition. This has led to some confusion as to what we are measuring, why we are measuring and how we measure. The Business of Data Collection has Changed Online behavior analytics has matured greatly over the past ten years. Architectures involving web services have also evolved from mostly 3-tiered models to n-tiered Servi…