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Data LivesHow Data Are Made and Shape Our World$
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Rob Kitchin

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781529215144

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529215144.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Open-and-Shut Case

Open-and-Shut Case

(p.61) 8 Open-and-Shut Case
Data Lives

Rob Kitchin

Policy Press

This chapter details a conversation between open data advocates and a civil servant in charge of the process, which reveals the challenges of getting government data made open. Without an injection of funds, an open data initiative called the Regional Data Lab, was in danger of winding down. Government had very little interest in making their data available, and even less enthusiasm for spending money during austerity. And open data was not free data; somebody had to pay for the labour of preparing data for release and building the necessary data infrastructure. What the Regional Data Lab does is take what data are already openly available and make them useable for those that lack the skills to build their own tools so they can use them in formulating policy. Rather than negotiating separate contracts every time, it would make more sense to simply centrally fund the Regional Data Lab to provide a suite of core data services. However, the advocates are more interested in the development of a national open data repository and access to more data, and a coordinated approach to providing data analytics for the public sector.

Keywords:   open data advocates, government data, open data, data creation, data infrastructure, Regional Data Lab, data services, data access, data analytics

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