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Data Management Systems for Government Agencies - with CKAN


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Over the last two days (5th and 6th of November 2015) I was very happy to present to a range of Victorian Government agencies and give them some context on what data management can do for their organisations.

From first principles we went through why data was important and what infrastructure was already in place via for them to leverage. We covered examples of how other agencies, such as the Office of Environment and Heritage in NSW, are rebuilding their data management system to provide a more efficient pipeline for publishing internal and public data.

As always, I could not help highlighting the awesome leadership of WA Parks and Wildlife and the work done by Florian Mayer as the best case example for reducing the costs and friction often involved with publishing data as contextually marked up knowledge.

We covered a number of scenarios where the concept of resource containers for data were considered. This created valuable feedback which has further galvanized my thoughts about how to further extend CKAN to meet the needs of both private and open data portals, and other forms of realtime or unstructured data.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Data Management Systems for Government Agencies - with CKAN

  1. 1. 2Link Digital’s Network Map
  2. 2. CKAN portals managed by Link Digital 3 WoVG IAR VicRoads Demo IAR openOEH OEH Internal CKAN AWS Marketplace (15 sites worldwide)
  3. 3. Data portal software: 1. Open Source 2. Large and expanding installation base within Government worldwide 3. Expanding use cases in the wider data ecosystem 4. Python web app, PostgreSQL DB 5. Built for machines, custodians and end users WHAT IS CKAN?
  6. 6. 1. >> Organisations (optionally with sub-organisations) 2. >> >> Datasets 3. >> >> >> Resources 4. >> Platform Custodian 5. >> >> Organisation Custodian, Editor or Member 6. >> Published or Private datasets CKAN STRUCTURE
  7. 7. 1. >> Constitution 2. >> >> Parliamentary Legislation and Acts (Jurisdiction = Platform) 3. >> >> >> Ministries (Organisation) 4. >> >> >> >> Programs (Sub-Organisations) 5. >> >> >> >> >> Projects (Datasets) 6. >> >> >> >> >> >> Outcomes (Resources) CKAN USE CASE PARADIGM
  8. 8. 1. User registration 2. User management 3. Custodian workflows (manage datasets and data resources) 4. Directory Browse by organisation or group 5. Faceted search for multiple fields (supporting end user discovery) 6. Resource views to preview data (a recently improved feature) 7. Metadata view CKAN UI
  9. 9. 1. Create an organistation (usually done by platform owner) 2. Login as member of organisation 3. Click ‘add dataset’ 4. Step 1: Add a title, description and other metadata 5. Step 2: Add resources (links to data or upload data files for hosting) 6. Step 3: Add any additional info CKAN CUSTODIAN WORKFLOW
  10. 10. 1. Join the dev mailing list (monitored by tech team): 2. Search Stack overflow under CKAN: 3. Check the roadmap on 4. Join a tech team meeting: WHERE TO GET HELP
  12. 12. 1. Get JSON-formatted lists of a site’s datasets, groups or other CKAN objects 2. Get a full JSON representation of a dataset, resource or other object 3. Search for packages or resources matching a query 4. Create, update and delete datasets, resources and other objects 5. Get an activity stream of recently changed datasets on a site CKAN API
  13. 13. 1. CKAN as an Information Asset Register 2. FileStore – For hosting of data and resources 3. DataStore - provides a database for structured storage of data together with a powerful Web- accessible Data API 4. License Selection (machine ready?) 5. Harvesting A FEW MORE POINTS
  14. 14. Delivering the world’s best open data management system The purpose of the CKAN Association is to support sustainable growth and development of CKAN while also protecting the interests of the CKAN community. The Association values a healthy and thriving community which continues to deliver the best open data management system in the world. CKAN ASSOCIATION: STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
  15. 15. Community interests, or needs, can be generalised as: 1. Users need an enterprise level open data management system tailored to meet their needs now and into the future. 2. Individual contributors need a project that is rewarding to work for, inclusive and active. COMMUNITY INTERESTS
  16. 16. Who owns or directly manages the CKAN project? The project, its releases and future direction are cooperatively managed by its community of users and contributors. Association delegates, staff and office holders may be active within the project but will exercise no more or less influence than any other contributor or user. More information about CKAN and how to contribute can be found at DELEGATION TO SERVE AND PROTECT
  17. 17. What is the current structure of the CKAN Association? See The steering group carries on a number of business activities. This includes raising revenue, managing resources and directing projects or programs of activity relevant to the CKAN Association’s statement of purpose. COMPLETENESS OF PURPOSE
  18. 18. Foundations of Open Government 20 My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government. Sources: Hope Poster by Shepard Fairey:
  19. 19. The role of Government in Australia 21 It should support civil society and its multiplicity of voices and activities. It should provide the economic framework and the essential infrastructure for public and private enterprise. Source:
  20. 20. Business Cases: Theory of the firm & Transaction costs 22
  21. 21. Where is there work to do with Open Data? 23
  22. 22. Published Data Handbook 24
  23. 23. Published Data Handbook 25 Recipe Name What you’ll need Ingredients Method Perfect for…
  24. 24. 26Establishing Data Publishing Policy
  25. 25. 27Establishing Data Management Systems
  26. 26. 28Educating Data Publishers
  27. 27. 29Facilitation within tech communities
  28. 28. Establishing enterprise solution architecture 30
  29. 29. 31Extract, Transform and Load Connectors
  30. 30. 32Cleaning of Messy Data
  31. 31. 33Geospatial Integration
  32. 32. 34Resource View Integration
  33. 33. 35Enriched Data and Analytics
  34. 34. 36The perfect storm
  35. 35. 37Drupal interface
  36. 36. 38CKAN interface
  37. 37. 39What the DFMP does
  38. 38. on CKAN, Drupal and AWS
  39. 39. Classifying data 41 The three tiers are: internal whole of Government open
  40. 40. 42The ‘go. no go’ gates for going open
  41. 41. data classification
  42. 42. Classifying data 44 The three tiers are: internal whole of Government open
  43. 43. OEH Data Management System 45
  44. 44. Take Note: What is NOT good 46
  45. 45. Take Note: What is best… 47