Penny Crossland The UK Public Data Project One Year On
Jinfo Blog

Wednesday, 26th January 2011 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added

By Penny Crossland

Item

It has been a year since the launch of the UK government’s public data portal, data.gov.uk, which as Michele Bate reported in her post in January 2010, was much publicised as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for public data. The big idea was that all this government data would eventually create a £6bn industry in applications and software.

Although launched by the old regime, the new coalition government wholeheartedly embraced the project, since it fits with the notion of the ‘Big Society’.

How is the site faring? Well, according to comments posted on the portal, its users are not happy. There is plenty of criticism regarding the datasets, called ‘pathetic’ by one user, others find the data hard to find and conclude that ‘unless access is given to the raw data, this quest for knowledge is doomed’.

According to a recent article in The Guardian, the enthusiasm behind the project has worn off and there is concern that those supposed to be releasing information are actually blocking it. As those closely involved with the portal have pointed out, attitudes of public servants and government Ministers need to change drastically for the project to succeed; i.e. they need to release raw data automatically, without being asked.

Meanwhile, the London Data Store, launched around the same time as data.gov.uk - see Anne Jordan’s Livewire posting on the topic - has been praised for making real-time tube data and transport information public. This data has already resulted in a network of applications.

While on the subject of public data, I recently came across the Guardian’s Data Store site. Launched late last year under the banner ‘facts are sacred’, the paper commented on the growth of data journalism, which the Data Store’s editor, Simon Rogers said was becoming an 'increasingly big part of the work' at the Guardian. He went on to say that searching for information on Google often resulted in 'a million contradictory' facts. Welcome to the world of the information professional!

The Guardian’s site provides access to datasets from governments across the world, facts from data blogs, key data of the day and featured applications. Data is sorted by topics such as agriculture, crime, defence, economy, health and population. So far, Government statistics are published from the following countries: UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand.  New features are to be added in due course. In all, a site well worth bookmarking.

« Blog

What's new at Jinfo?

Focus on Value Chain

Document the value chain, and transform the way you think about, manage and report on your product portfolio and your information service contributions to your organisation goals.

Focus on Value Chain


Focus on Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is a required process for a healthy information department. It gauges the ability of your services, team, portfolio and overall value to withstand stress.

Focus on Risk Assessment

Sorry, there seems to be a problem with Webinar and Community listings. Please let us know, by email to support@jinfo.com. Thank you.

Benefit from our research

Our proven processes, resources and guidance will help your team make the shift from transaction centre to strategic asset.


Workshops

Designed around the most common challenges and pain points for time- and resource-strapped information teams

Supercharge remote productivity and value
Holistic content portfolio management
Future-proof your information service
Executive-ready communications


Briefings

A tailored overview of our research and active discussion with your Jinfo analyst.


Assessments

Measure your starting point to articulate your strengths and set priorities for future improvements. Assessments gauge risk, capacity, value and more.


Read case studies, and start the conversation:

Consulting benefits

Connect your team with the practical tools, original research and expertise to build and support information strategy in your organisation.

A Jinfo Subscription gives access to all Content (articles, reports, webinars) and Community.

Subscription benefits