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  • Open Data‚Ķ Is the end user overlooked?

    05 August 2011

    If you have any ideas about about how to make open data, and by extension data.vic.gov.au, a more effective tool for all potential users, please share your thoughts and ideas by joining the discussion.

    Firstly, the resignation of Vivek Kundra(the first CIO the US has ever had) has had some in the online world questioning whether this will slow down the Obamas administration's aggressive development of open data priniciples. Washington Post columnist Vivek Wadhwawrote on the 22nd of June that "...whenever a program loses it's key evangelist, it normally dies".

    And now it seems that criticism is growing over whom it is that "open data" actually serves. Tim Berners-Lee's now famous catch cry of "Raw Data Now" at TED2009 implores government agencies to put their raw data on the web to allow the community to do wonderful things with it... but, is open data enough?

    This poses a number of questions:

    - Does "open data" address end user needs? - How does the uploading of copious amounts of raw data help those who don't know how to sort through them? Or identify what they represent? - Does a "Data Divide" between those that have the opportunity and skill to effectively use the data and those that don't exist? - Does "open data" simply empower those already empowered?

    Is the "data divide" a reality that requires attention to address perceived data access inequalities or should the mantra of "Raw Data Now" be enough to encourage development by whomever for the greater good?

    If you have any ideas about about how to make open data, and by extension data.vic.gov.au, a more effective tool for all potential users, please share your thoughts and ideas by joining the discussion.