Canadian Open Data Summit - 5 Key Insights

(Ben McNamee) #1

Back in November, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at the Canadian Open Data Summit in Niagara Falls. The Canadian Open Data Summit is an annual conference bringing together government, civil society, and data/technology advocates to discuss all things data, open data, and open government in Canada. The panel I sat on with Mary Wiley, from Niagara Connects, Barry Kong from the Government of Canada and Erik Holmlund from the Alberta Open Data Partnership. We discussed how data and Open Data can be thought of as a strategic tool to build community and increase impact. Here are the 5 key insights from the whole summit.

  1. Digital Transformations of organizations, sectors, and the government must be thought of in a deeply empathic way. These transformations allow us to build the right things in the right way for the right reasons.
  2. Centre all data work on people and relationship. When you have that piece down, the data side is easy.
  3. The Open Data community needs to shift away from “Open by Default” where numerous low value datasets are released, to “Publish with Purpose” where organizations strategically release data to achieve strategic goals, and to maximize value to their stakeholders.
  4. Rural data needs, while very similar to urban needs, differ in a key respect in that data suppression rules at Stats Canada means that there is simply less information readily available to community about rural areas.
  5. Data IS the new oil, and like the new oil we need to invest in the infrastructure and tools to ensure that we can turn it into something of value, while also minimizing the harmful pollution that may result