After the portal is set up, the data needs to be constantly cleaned, shared and updated, while promoting citizen participation, to fulfill the ultimate goal of making information not just open, but also useful, Anders Pedersen, Community Coordinator and Business Developer, OpenSpending told the officials gathered across agencies.
Moving away from traditional formats like .pdf towards more open formats such as .csv and .txt mean that the data can be accessed by a wider variety of programmes and allow for manipulation of data.
One of the most important parts of opening up data is simply getting the data across to the public in an effective way. Pedersen provided hands-on training for these open data advocates to clean, scrape and visualise data. Datawrapper, Raw, D3.js, Tableau, and ThingLink are some tools that help with visualising data. Sergio Araiza from School of Data joined in to highlight OpenRefine, a data cleaning tool for intermediate users.
Pedersen noted that opening up data means that more people are looking at the data, so governments will set higher data standards among its agencies and citizens will help further validate the data that is published.
To find out more about this data skills training session, visit this page.