How can we get smarter about open data?
 

How can we get smarter about open data?

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Jon Pratty of the Arts Council England talks through the approach the Arts and Culture sector should take towards open data.

Jon Pratty of the Arts Council England talks through the approach the Arts and Culture sector should take towards open data.

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How can we get smarter about open data? How can we get smarter about open data? Presentation Transcript

  • How can we get smarter about open data? Jon Pratty/Arts Council England
  • “We want a website. We don’t want a database. We don’t need a database. We want more people to visit our attractions, our museums, our theatres.”
  • Cut to another place… We were almost at the gallery we’d scoped out for a weekend visit. But it wasn’t there.
  • Back to reality • Flag yourself up to the web, making your culture findable • Think about what data is • Work out what your needs are • Take small steps • Think about how things connect, how context works • Understand brand values of data • Keep quality at the heart of the data and info plan
  • #Small Data: check how people find you, online! • You are the single most important source of info about what you do. • No-one else is tasked with getting your info right.
  • It’s just information • Call the same things, the same things. • Info about your venue, your work, or the things you have collected in your museum. • Where is it? • When does it open? • What’s the most popular object?
  • #SmallData? • Might be a uniquely important piece of information about an object that is uniquely searchable online. • In a relational world, all info sources are important, big or small. • Your valuable info mixes into a bigger pot of data that people search online.
  • Making a start • Being data-centric isn’t about being digital. • It’s about your stuff, your collection, your theatre piece • It’s about picking out the most important facts about it that might be relevant to other people
  • Basic steps Basic building blocks of an information strategy: • Its impossible to know everything about all objects in your museum collection • Key thing is to know the basic stories • What are the most important items? • Distinctive characteristics?
  • Things connect in different ways now • Search engines, Reddit, Twitter, Europeana, the National Curriculum, the OCLC Universal library info system. • But how do you decide what, and how, to connect? • New meanings and cultures: have we got a history or anthropology of hashtags?
  • Relational thinking • Relational thinking = taking one story about your early lawnmower, and making connections to transport or social history websites or databases. • What might the National Curriculum link be to that? • Thinking about linking means thinking about deeper relationships between objects, eras, subjects
  • Why is it my job? • Because you are the expert here • People need to come to you to find out about this • You’re the mother lode of info about the work • Knowing your key facts and info is the start of being data-centric • Curating, thinking relationally might be core ideology of Open Authority
  • Brand values of data • We trust it • It’s up-to-date • it’s authoritative • It’s information rich • It’s neutral • It’s easily readable • Accessible • Sustainable
  • Read More • Counting What Counts, an excellent research report commissioned by Arts Council England. This opens out many points I’ve explored here, but in more detail • Digital as a Dimension of Everything by John Stack, the digital lead at Tate. It’s a think-piece that has become a key text for Tate as it tries to understand how to advocate internally for more awareness of how stuff connects
  • Our friends around the table? • Manchester: understanding here about how culture activity and info • It sits in broader information context • Crime rates, school catchment areas, pollution danger zones, property prices by postcode • Novel online services and commercially viable business models with open data • Social machines • Organisations as platform
  • But in other places… • Digitisation is slow, collections not geo- referenced, age-old copyright agreements prevent access • Few culture venues create quality content to professional standards • Emphasis on looking inwards rather than outwards, towards people as a platform • ‘Our Audiences have Audiences!’ said Annette Mees, Agency of Coney
  • Culture Kent Pathfinder project • Towards a regional data economy • Strategic funds [£25k] into arts/tourism partnership • Town councils, a county council, museums, galleries and theatres, and major destination marketing organisation • Intention: transformational change, agreement to collect culture info and content • Share it out to reach bigger audiences via other platforms, other publishers or data output
  • You’d think that was simple… • Collective understanding of open culture values not in place • Across regional landscape, micro-economies exist • Mixed commercial and public sector models • Sometimes commercial model that dictates how projects work • Publicly funded open data culture is potentially dangerous to business models
  • Agreement! • We have worked hard to break down barriers with our partners • Tentative, but stable, decision • Shared data is the goal • It has a shared value between us as partners • That was the real project, not delivery of the technology platform
  • What changed? • New project, setting out agendas that needed information at the core • ACE/Visit Britain Cultural Destinations partnership agreement • Open call for funding applications for three year arts/tourism campaigns across England • Culture Kent Pathfinder partners now had a compelling reason to negotiate and understand each other’s business model, public, private, third sector, shared and open.
  • Finding a #smalldata purpose • Pathfinder project incorporated into successful Kent Cultural Destinations proposal • Pathfinder project forms information strategy core to the bigger project • Partners of original project group invited onto the larger group advisory board • Now an Open Information project, with a real public-facing context.
  • Open information business plan • How long would it take to develop skills in content production or data sharing • Considered size of partner organisations and resources at their disposal • Looked at ways to make data upload easy: direct input, CSV files, data or api hook-ups • Thought about workflows: some once every six months; some tourism partners working in campaign cycles • We had to match the system to some very different needs and workflows.
  • Culture Kent - project overview CKP Data Pool Data from Pathfinders Data from cultural sources website Analysis & reporting Data from Visit Kent Data standardised Engagement & support Data sharing with other data sources, e.g. Education, Economic Revenue, New products & services API for researchers & 3rd party apps Apps & website plugins
  • Project overview CKP Data Pool Data from Pathfinders Data from cultural sources Digital Platform Analysis & reporting Data from Visit Kent Data standardised Engagement & support Data sharing with other data sources, e.g. Education, Economic Revenue, New products & services 1 API for researchers & 3rd party apps Apps & other digital platforms 2013
  • Project overview CKP Data Pool Data from Pathfinders Data from cultural sources Digital platform Analysis & reporting Data from Visit Kent Data standardised Engagement & support Data sharing with other data sources, e.g. Education, Economic Revenue, New products & services 1 2 3 API for researchers & 3rd party apps Apps &other digital platforms 20142013 2015
  • Project overview CKP Data Pool Data from Pathfinders Data from cultural sources website Analysis & reporting Data from Visit Kent Data standardised Engagement & support Data sharing with other data sources, e.g. Education, Economic Revenue, New products & services 1 2 3 API for researchers & 3rd party apps 4 Apps & website plugins 2013 2014 2014 2015
  • Where we are today • Agreement info is going to be shared • It might develop into a range of paid-for information services • It can be used by our tourism sector partners in existing services that are paid-for or subscription services • There would be an initial information service that is free and accessible • Embodies public sector ‘commons’ philosophies.
  • Next steps • Partners invited to culture/tourism data hack day • Partners/developers/tech people • Considering how things join • How to actually make something • Mapping common data fields from our cultures • Map these simple fields across to Culture24 • C24 do platform integration or uploading • Partners - diplomacy and negotiations around copyright and IP
  • Closing the last local loop of open data • These might be new cultural roles • New models for income generation • Accumulation of cultural capital • Imagine a line in your accounts or annual report, on your asset register, that records growth in your relational connectivity
  • Thanks Jon Pratty Relationship Manager, Creative Media Arts Council England jon.pratty@artscouncil.org.uk