Monday, March 21, 2011

Open Data is not Transparency


Sent to you by Greg via Google Reader:


There are many encouraging signs of late in the general area of open data. However, one thing that has to be kept in mind with this movement is that open data is only part of transparency - it is necessary but not sufficient. If the data is not understandable by the intended audience (and open data suggests a very broad audience) then there is no transparency. The information and knowledge locked in the data will be hiding in plain sight.

This thought suggests that any open data movement has to be combined with a 'plain English' (or 'plain <insert your language here>') programme and an investment in data literacy. In addition, to take the whole movement to its obvious conclusion, there should be some well defined success criteria. What is the answer to the question: what happens to whom when citizens experience open data?

You may also be interested in posts on data engines.


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