So, open data is de rigueur at the moment and has been picking up pace over the last few years. It is being mentioned in everything from local insights, big data to smart cities. But before we leap forward, how is this data released and how do we get more people to open up their data so that it is accessible, useable and discoverable?
Data you’ve collected (point locations of various objects, things, events), data you’ve customised from others or data you’re signposting so that others can find it more easily. The key thing questions to ask yourself are:
You can use various web services to help you clean your data so that it is in a useable and readable format. The two main issues that arise quite a lot when advising publishers on their data are usually formatting issues like, multiple row headers, merged columns and use of suitable indicator titles. A lot of these come from the traditional use of nice formatting in spreadsheets.
One web service I have used in the past is CSV Lint. It checks whether your csv data contains the appropriate columns and types of data values and really helpfully will also transform and output the data in a standardised format that you can then use to publish on your open platform. http://csvlint.io/.
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