5 thoughts on “Publishing is not enough: government data needs to be communicated well too

  1. Hey Michael

    This is a big issue. The meta-data on data.gov.uk is pretty poor quality.

    There have been quite a few projects that have tried to generate some improved meta-data – but none of this appears to have been fed back into how the data.gov.uk catalogue.

    Perhaps something for a few of us to talk to Data.gov.uk about?

    Tim

    • It’s a very big issue I think; and, I suspect, one that lies at the heart of many concerns about open data. The quality of use of data is dependent upon the quality of the preparation of that data, which itself requires rigour and care.

      I agree that maybe a few of us should talk to data.gov.uk about it; I’m not sure how to go about it though: what combination of voices would be the most persuasive, what our arguments are, how to plan it, etc?

      • Quality of data and meta-data in part relies upon care in creation – but, at least when it comes to meta-data, there are also professionals (i.e. historically librarians) who work on improving meta-data – so with data.gov.uk thinking about how a layer of official, or crowdsourced, librarian style curation of the content can feed back into the site and be available to everyone would be useful.

        As for how to go about it – I’m not sure. I think first stage would be talking to someone in the know about the process by which data comes from departments and makes it onto data.gov.uk, getting into some detail about where the meta-data comes from etc. I would imagine some of the CKAN people or data.gov.uk team might be up for giving an interview on that to this blog so that local councils can learn from it?

    • Tim, I notice today that similar posts are very clearly labeled. I’m guessing this is an issue of training and management of those inputting the data, rather than a problem with the tool itself?

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