The Open Data Practitioner's Guide

The Open Data Practitioner's Guide

About the Book

Open data is now being routinely published by a variety of governments and organisations around the world. It is transforming how we do business, collaborate within industries and is bringing clarity to social issues.

This book is intended to offer support for open data practitioners who are involved in supporting the publication and use of open data.

The guide will provide useful background on key topics and concepts that relate to open data, whilst providing pragmatic advice on how to develop your open data practice.

The book should be useful for:

  • Open data leaders in local or central government
  • Data stewards responsible for overseeing the sharing and publication of data
  • Developer evangelists supporting a community of developers using open data
  • Open data consultants looking for checklists and similar guidance to help support and develop their practice

While the book addresses a number of technical topics, no specific technical skills or background are required.

The first section of the book will focus on introducing a number of background concepts. These essays will attempt to answer a number of questions that are important to building a good open data practice. These include:

  • What is a dataset?
  • How do we describe datasets?
  • How do we enable reuse of data?
  • How do we publish and discover datasets?

Building on these foundations, the second half of the book will explore different aspects of the practice of open data. Each of the chapters will cover a specific process or activity that collectively contribute to the sustainable publication, release and use of open data. These will include:

  • How do deal with concerns around the release of data
  • How to build a data release process that includes the appropriate oversight required to ensure data is published in an accessible, risk free way
  • How to support re-users of your data

Overall the book is intended to provide useful signposts to guide you on your open data journey.

About the Author

Leigh Dodds
Leigh Dodds

Leigh has 20 years of experience working in a variety of technology focused roles including software engineer, product manager, technical consultant and CTO. During this time he has worked with a variety of companies ranging from small startups through to large multi-national organisations.

Leigh currently works as an independent technical consultant helping businesses explore technology and best practices around the publication and use of open data. His clients have included the British Library, CABI, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Barbican, Ordnance Survey and the Office of National Statistics.

He is also an associate at the Open Data Institute where he has worked on projects with a variety of their members and partners, including Thomson Reuters, the Met Office, Experian, and Syngenta.

Over the last two years, Leigh has also co-ordinated a community run open data initiative in Bath & North East Somerset. The group has been working with local community groups, developers and the council to explore how data lead innovation might benefit the local area.

Leigh is also an experienced author having published articles and training materials for O’Reilly and IBM. He also regularly writes on his blog about open data topics.

He loves building for the web, exploring innovative ways of using open data, and can often be found tinkering with a new dataset he’s just discovered.

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