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Moving linked data into production
         - and reaping the benefits
                  Richard Goodwin




                     SemTechBiz the Williams Lea Group
                          Part of September 2012
                                      [Presentation Title]
What does TSO do?

Semantic discoverability solutions

Linked Open Data

Breaking data out of silos

Dedicated semantic team with a variety of experience & backgrounds




                                                               Part of the Williams Lea Group
Why Semantic discoverability?



Aggregate relevant    Extract important
                                            Enrich the content
      data            information from it


                        Allow linking,
 Add value to the        re-use and
      data              repurposing

                                                  Part of the Williams Lea Group
Organograms


                    Making government
                                         Automated
Good use case for      information
                                        dissemination
Linked Open Data     accessible and
                                           process
                          open




                                            Part of the Williams Lea Group
Government Transparency initiative

   Announced by No.10 in May 2010

   RDF and visualisation

   Live in June 2011




                                     Part of the Williams Lea Group
What was involved?

     Using Excel source data
      –   convert from CSV to RDF using PHP
          and XL Wrap
     Preview and publish through linked
      data API
     Creating custom organogram
      Visualisation
     Supporting distributed publication by
      owner organisations

TSO Non Sensitive                             Part of the Williams Lea Group
Achievements

   Publishing in RDF right across
    government
    –   now = 200
    –   soon = 400+
   New data published every 6 months
   Humans use Visualisation for
    information about government
   Machines can pull regularly updated
    info to create other resources

                                          Part of the Williams Lea Group
Challenges

   WCM unable to handle RDF
    documents
   Officials struggling to get sign-off from
    ministers
   Upload / validation usability issues
   Minimise errors that departments are
    expected to remedy
   Reduce bootstrapping
   Exploit value in data set - see
    changes over time
                                                Part of the Williams Lea Group
Challenges – improve the user experience

   CSV and validation usability issues
    –   Apparently inconsistent validation
    –   Silent errors
    –   Department uploading ≠ department featured
    –   Departments see all files clearly marked as senior CSV, junior CSV and RDF

   Sign-off from ministers

    –   Senior management, short of time



                                                                           Part of the Williams Lea Group
Challenges – improve the user experience

   Organisational quirks
    –   e.g. some Ministry of Defence (MoD) civil servants report to minister, others of same
        grade report elsewhere

   Grades need to be more flexible
    –   e.g. „equivalent to grade X‟ or accept those parts which are correct and flag the others

   Duplicate uploads need flagging

   Improve the speed of preview function

                                                                               Part of the Williams Lea Group
Solutions – WCM and reliability

   Replaced the XL Wrap with CSV2TTL
    –   a Python-based implementation of CSV to RDF

    This supports efficient and reliable publishing of RDF triples from CSV

   Early validation takes place in spreadsheet template

   Data owners upload the spreadsheet to the preview server for signing-off




                                                                              Part of the Williams Lea Group
Solutions – Usability
The main constraint on our action is the use of the templates from within the
Government
   Secure Intranet - VBA code inappropriate

   Strip out lengthy formulae (hard to maintain)
    –   Net result no change to file size despite extra features

   Provide per cell rather than per row feedback to users

   Hide extraneous cells and improve validation rules

   Use single-cell lookup point for web application to ascertain validity
                                                                        Part of the Williams Lea Group
Linked data - increasing value over time

Enables user to              Solution
   View the change in the      Serves all datasets from
    shape of government          same iteration into single
    over time                    Knowledge Base (KB)
                                 with each different
   Use a slider on
                                 iteration in separate KBs
    Visualisation to show
    changes                     Data registry maintains
                                 the mapping between
                                 <iteration>,
                                 <department> and
                                 knowledge base,
                                 <graph>
                                                              Part of the Williams Lea Group
OpenUp® Platform


    Harvest               Enrich                  Store               Publish



  Aggregation of         Extracting           Highly scalable
                                                                    Websites and
  data from web,      useful data and            database
                                                                    APIs to reach
  APIs databases      converting to re-        storage and
                                                                     data users
     and files         usable formats          query engine




                   Automated processes that deliver reliable data


                                                                         Part of the Williams Lea Group
Questions?



See http://openup.tso.co.uk
Follow @TSOTechnology
Meet TSO Semantic team on our stand
Test our new release of Flint online SPARQL editor launching today…


                                                     Part of the Williams Lea Group
Disclaimer

Confidentiality statement
The contents of this document together with all other information, data, materials, specifications or other related documents provided by Williams Lea
(“WL”) (together “materials”) shall be treated at all times by the recipient as the confidential and proprietary information of WL. The recipient shall not
disclose any such materials to any third parties without the express, prior written approval of WL. Where such express approval is granted by WL, the
recipient shall ensure that all third parties to whom disclosure is made shall keep any such materials confidential and shall not disclose them or any part of
them to any other person. All intellectual property rights in the materials shall remain the property of WL, or its third party licensors, and are protected by
copyright.

© 2012 Williams Lea Group

Disclaimer
This document may be incomplete without reference to any oral briefing provided by WL, reflects current conditions and WL‟s views as of this date and is
subject to correction or change at any time. Although the information contained in this document is believed to be accurate in all material respects, neither
WL nor any of WL‟s advisers, agents, officers or employees accepts responsibility or liability for or makes any promise, representation, statement or
expression of opinion or warranty, express or implied, with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this document (to the extent
permissible by law) unless and save to the extent that such promise, representation, statement or expression of opinion or warranty is later expressly
incorporated into a legally binding contract.



                                                                                                                               Part of the Williams Lea Group

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TSO Organograms - Moving Linked Data into production and reaping the benefits - SemTechBiz 2012

  • 1. Moving linked data into production - and reaping the benefits Richard Goodwin SemTechBiz the Williams Lea Group Part of September 2012 [Presentation Title]
  • 2. What does TSO do? Semantic discoverability solutions Linked Open Data Breaking data out of silos Dedicated semantic team with a variety of experience & backgrounds Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 3. Why Semantic discoverability? Aggregate relevant Extract important Enrich the content data information from it Allow linking, Add value to the re-use and data repurposing Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 4. Organograms Making government Automated Good use case for information dissemination Linked Open Data accessible and process open Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 5. Government Transparency initiative  Announced by No.10 in May 2010  RDF and visualisation  Live in June 2011 Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 6. What was involved?  Using Excel source data – convert from CSV to RDF using PHP and XL Wrap  Preview and publish through linked data API  Creating custom organogram Visualisation  Supporting distributed publication by owner organisations TSO Non Sensitive Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 7. Achievements  Publishing in RDF right across government – now = 200 – soon = 400+  New data published every 6 months  Humans use Visualisation for information about government  Machines can pull regularly updated info to create other resources Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 8. Challenges  WCM unable to handle RDF documents  Officials struggling to get sign-off from ministers  Upload / validation usability issues  Minimise errors that departments are expected to remedy  Reduce bootstrapping  Exploit value in data set - see changes over time Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 9. Challenges – improve the user experience  CSV and validation usability issues – Apparently inconsistent validation – Silent errors – Department uploading ≠ department featured – Departments see all files clearly marked as senior CSV, junior CSV and RDF  Sign-off from ministers – Senior management, short of time Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 10. Challenges – improve the user experience  Organisational quirks – e.g. some Ministry of Defence (MoD) civil servants report to minister, others of same grade report elsewhere  Grades need to be more flexible – e.g. „equivalent to grade X‟ or accept those parts which are correct and flag the others  Duplicate uploads need flagging  Improve the speed of preview function Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 11. Solutions – WCM and reliability  Replaced the XL Wrap with CSV2TTL – a Python-based implementation of CSV to RDF This supports efficient and reliable publishing of RDF triples from CSV  Early validation takes place in spreadsheet template  Data owners upload the spreadsheet to the preview server for signing-off Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 12. Solutions – Usability The main constraint on our action is the use of the templates from within the Government  Secure Intranet - VBA code inappropriate  Strip out lengthy formulae (hard to maintain) – Net result no change to file size despite extra features  Provide per cell rather than per row feedback to users  Hide extraneous cells and improve validation rules  Use single-cell lookup point for web application to ascertain validity Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 13. Linked data - increasing value over time Enables user to Solution  View the change in the  Serves all datasets from shape of government same iteration into single over time Knowledge Base (KB) with each different  Use a slider on iteration in separate KBs Visualisation to show changes  Data registry maintains the mapping between <iteration>, <department> and knowledge base, <graph> Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 14. OpenUp® Platform Harvest Enrich Store Publish Aggregation of Extracting Highly scalable Websites and data from web, useful data and database APIs to reach APIs databases converting to re- storage and data users and files usable formats query engine Automated processes that deliver reliable data Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 15. Questions? See http://openup.tso.co.uk Follow @TSOTechnology Meet TSO Semantic team on our stand Test our new release of Flint online SPARQL editor launching today… Part of the Williams Lea Group
  • 16. Disclaimer Confidentiality statement The contents of this document together with all other information, data, materials, specifications or other related documents provided by Williams Lea (“WL”) (together “materials”) shall be treated at all times by the recipient as the confidential and proprietary information of WL. The recipient shall not disclose any such materials to any third parties without the express, prior written approval of WL. Where such express approval is granted by WL, the recipient shall ensure that all third parties to whom disclosure is made shall keep any such materials confidential and shall not disclose them or any part of them to any other person. All intellectual property rights in the materials shall remain the property of WL, or its third party licensors, and are protected by copyright. © 2012 Williams Lea Group Disclaimer This document may be incomplete without reference to any oral briefing provided by WL, reflects current conditions and WL‟s views as of this date and is subject to correction or change at any time. Although the information contained in this document is believed to be accurate in all material respects, neither WL nor any of WL‟s advisers, agents, officers or employees accepts responsibility or liability for or makes any promise, representation, statement or expression of opinion or warranty, express or implied, with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this document (to the extent permissible by law) unless and save to the extent that such promise, representation, statement or expression of opinion or warranty is later expressly incorporated into a legally binding contract. Part of the Williams Lea Group

Editor's Notes

  1. So who are TSO?TSO have been around a long time in one way or another, we are the former publishing operations of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and were privatised in 1996 By virtue of the types of information we process on behalf of government, for example the law, parliamentary information, insolvency information and so on the publishing processes of data capture, transformation and publication needs to a sustainable for the long term. This applies whether the output is print or digital or a mix of both.RDF and web publishing are natural progressions for TSO, we’ve actually being doing semantic work for the last 5 years or so.Semantic technologies are rapidly becoming a standard part of TSO solutions.
  2. Coming back from the specific to the general to the specific, the organogram project is really all about what is semantic discoverabilityFundamentally it’s publishing that you can forget about! That is, once it is set up and configured you are hands-off – it happens day in, day out, reliably, on time in an automated fashion.But it also includes tracking all of the data transformations so that you users and publishers can return to those processes if necessary – so provenance plays an important part- in fact my colleague represents legislation.gov.uk onthe W3C provenance Interchange Working group.Why do it?Because if people are to invest time and money in building a system on top of published data they need to have some level of guarantee that the data will be reliably available, continuously updated and up-to-date and that the system will be around for long enough to ensure that their own system’s viability is maintained.The benefits include:centralized storage, better quality, standardized machine-readable, sharing and reusability, low cost and quicker.
  3. Pulling all of these Open Up® platform elements together is the Government Organogram project went live in June 2011. What makes it exciting is that it is the first example of every government department publishing RDF.The organograms utilise the Harvester, RDF Store, SPARQL endpoint, Linked Data API and hosting facilities. The harvesting strategy was changed in Sep. 2011, we now accept data upload from departments.
  4. capturing data in a simple Excel template converting data to CSV and RDF using PHP and XLWrappreviewing and publishing data through a linked data API and custom organogram visualisation supporting distributed publication by owner organisations “We found detailed guidance, early validation, vocabulary reuse and visualisation are key to data quality, and that Linked Data can support the demands of both re-users and end users. The resulting reference data will be linked to from other government datasets.”We replaced the XL Wrap with CSV2TTL, a python-based implementation of CSV to RDF. The new software supports the publishing RDF triples from CSV in a more efficient and reliable way.The data owners are required to fill up the spreadsheet following the given template. This is where the early validation taking place. The data owners upload the spreadsheet to the preview server, where previewing and signing-off happens.
  5. Web Content Management system unable to handle RDF, so original plan publish on website register on data.gov.uk, and harvester would collect data – not possible.Data validation, and individuals introducing errors and using the system differently.Focus had been on getting the information out rather than figuring how to display the changes over time.
  6. Government is a huge organisation, which means that there were inevitable inconsistencies that crept in across departments –breaking initial assumptions.
  7. Excel spreadsheet improvementsPublic sector and government uses Government Secure Intranet (GSI) as a platform for its IT systems.Would have been ideal to use signed macros – but with 200 sets of users at launch (soon rising to 400) - testing on all systems and supporting that number of users was not practicalThe aim is to make the process intuitive for users.
  8. Our approach to creating a semantic discoverability solution is to create a suite of infrastructural services on which we or others can develop applications. This has been branded the OpenUp® platform and it has developed over the past 18 months.The four major elements of OpenUp® services are:Harvesting: The ability to get hold of content in a reliable, regular wayEnrichment: The ability to extract additional information from your data using information extraction techniquesStorage: Holding the data Publishing: Making that data available on the web as well as supporting websites for that data if requiredThe platform is scalable at each level and runs on hardware in our data centres in Norwich and London. (Our hosting is used in particular for government websites as we appropriate security certifications)