Consuming Linked Data within a Large Educational Organization

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Large universities tend to spread their services across several departments to serve their substantial student base. It is very common for this to result in developing different systems, which end up in creating many disconnected data silos within the organization. Data isolation is one of the main bottlenecks that prevent unlocking the full potential behind exploiting such data, to provide a better experience at the level of application deployment and data analysis. The Open University is in the process of connecting their data silos by relying on the Linked Data principles within the LUCERO project. We present three use-cases through which we consume Linked Data produced at the Open University: (1) a student services use-case showing how we exploit data connections to deliver learning material related to courses through the university's main course information website; (2) a mobile course application that enables students to easily explore courses by subject, qualification or research topic; and (3) a Leanback TV service that provides students the ability to watch, with a degree of control, a set of podcasts grouped in different channels. Through these use cases, we highlight in this presentation the advantages and effects of consuming Linked Data within an organization.

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  • Before, all the data was exactly there, but now its value has increased.
  • Consuming Linked Data within a Large Educational Organization

    1. 1. Consuming Linked Data within a Large Educational OrganizationFouad Zablith, Mathieu d’Aquin, Stuart Brown, Liam Green-Hughes @fzablith, @mdaquin, @stuartbrown, @liamgh Knowledge Media Institute (KMi), Communications and IT The Open University, UK
    2. 2. Scenario Student Services Library Qualifications Books Courses CourseOpenLearn Material Arts The Open University has Buildings several systems and data Events Estate sources spread across OU Events various departments Research iTunesU Projects Media People PodcastsYouTube Publications
    3. 3. Scenario Student Services Wow! Developing an Library application for Arts students, Qualifications to see what courses are Books relevant to an upcoming exhibition would be fantastic! Course CoursesOpenLearn Material Arts Developer Buildings Events Estate OU Events Research iTunesU Projects Media People PodcastsYouTube Publications
    4. 4. Problem Hi, can you give me access to the courses data? Student Services Library Qualifications Books Courses CourseOpenLearn Material Arts System Admin Buildings Events Estate OU Events Research iTunesU Projects Media People PodcastsYouTube Publications
    5. 5. To access Planet through Problem CIRCE-MI you need AACS to validate your OUCU Student Services Library Qualifications Books Courses CourseOpenLearn Material Arts Buildings Events Estate OU Events Research iTunesU Projects Media People PodcastsYouTube Publications
    6. 6. What is he To access Planet through about?! talking Problem CIRCE-MI you need AACS to validate your OUCU Student Services Library Qualifications Books Courses CourseOpenLearn Material Arts Buildings Events Estate OU Events Research iTunesU Projects Media People PodcastsYouTube Publications
    7. 7. Problem Student Services Library Qualifications Books Courses CourseOpenLearn Material Arts Buildings Events Estate OU Events Research iTunesU Projects Media People PodcastsYouTube Publications
    8. 8. Solution: Linked Data Student Services Library Qualifications Books Courses CourseOpenLearn Material Arts Buildings Events Estate OU Events Research iTunesU Projects Media People PodcastsYouTube Publications
    9. 9. Solution: Linked DataLinked Data Platform Qualifications Books Course Courses Material OpenLearn Buildings Events OU Events Projects iTunesU People Podcasts YouTube Publications
    10. 10. External Links
    11. 11. Linked Data at the OU• The Open University is connecting its data repositories following the Linked Data principles.• The LUCERO project has put in place a workflow to extract, integrate and expose the university data from existing repositories.
    12. 12. The LUCERO Workflow
    13. 13. Data Transformation Process - Identify dataLucero - Get sample data InitialCore Team Meeting with - Identify Copyright IssuesData Owner Data Owner - Identify possible links - Identify users and usageLucero - Find reusable ontologies LuceroKMi Team Data Data - Map onto the data Core Team Modeling ModelingLucero - Identify uncovered parts sessions Validation Data Ownermembers - Define URI Scheme URI Lucero Development Creation KMi Team Deployment of Extractor Rules Definition
    14. 14. data.open.ac.uk
    15. 15. Querying the Data
    16. 16. Use Cases
    17. 17. Use Cases iTunesU Podcasts YouTubeOpenLearn Qualifications Courses
    18. 18. Use Case 1: Student Services• Study at the OU website is currently being enhanced with courses related material e.g. podcasts, YouTube and OpenLearn• Finding the connections between courses and other material was a very costly process• Linked Data made it easier to discover links between courses and related material• This website is the main page of the OU business. The value of Linked Data here is not at the technical level, but at the business level of the organization
    19. 19. Use Case 1: Student Services
    20. 20. Use Case 2: Mobile Course Application• This mobile application enables students to easily browse courses by qualification or subject of interests, with the ability to play related podcasts, YouTube or access related OpenLearn courses• As in the previous case, identifying the relations between courses and other material maintained by different departments was expensive before Linked Data• This use case shows how Linked Data can create new entry points for students to enroll in OU courses
    21. 21. Use Case 2: Mobile Course Application
    22. 22. Use Case 3: Leanback TV Webapp• This application provides students the ability to watch automatically selected set of podcasts• A fine grained selection of podcasts is hard to do through RSS feeds, without a high degree of customization• Linked Data provided a very flexible way to generate the podcasts needed for the channels• The value of Linked Data here is that it enables innovation. Developers can easily implement their ideas, without worrying about how to reach the data
    23. 23. Use Case 3: Leanback TV Webapp
    24. 24. Even More Applications
    25. 25. Conclusion• Linked Data maximizes the value of your contributed data within an organization• It is not about finding the killer app, but more about small improvements introduced by Linked Data, with big impact on the organization and data consumption• Linked Data enables organizations, data managers and developers to focus on the “business-needs”, rather than on solving technological challenges
    26. 26. Thank you! @fzablith @mdaquin @stuartbrown @liamgh f.zablith@open.ac.ukhttp://lucero-project.info http://data.open.ac.uk

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