There are two sides to every dataset, sometimes they both should meet

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In local government embracing open data is often a matter of compulsion or driven by the need to reduce FOI requests. This approach can miss the real value of open data.

The header illustration at the top of this article shows part of a dataset of the public toilets  situated in Harrogate Borough Council jurisdiction.  I did not randomly choose data about public toilets, it just so happens to be one of the three categories of datasets under the Local open data incentive scheme presently running, the others being planning applications and premises' licences.

The concept behind open data, as I have said before, is the value or resource this data can represent. Whether is it just through a greater knowledge or insight into a local situation, the ability to combine  data in such a way as to help innovate a service, produce efficiencies or create an application. I think it is fair to say that a little too much emphasis is placed on apps, the sexy end of data manipulation and to be frank the creation of which most of us have trouble grasping.

We need to remember that, before all this manipulation or whatever takes place, even before it is a twinkle in a developers eye , there has to be some data collected and entered. The first side of any dataset. This is the decidedly pedestrian, unsexy side.  And yet, this data are the nails that could lose the war, so to speak.

The full article by Judith Carr on the Information Daily