Prior to the Beyond Data Event we interviewed Hollie Lubbock, Interaction designer, Bureau for Visual Affairs. What is her opinion about data and what about the future?
What are the main challenges cities are facing in the coming years with open data?
The state will be the main provider of data and it will be seen as a key resource utility – as access to the internet is today. The city (local government) is the main gateway to this data. A key challenge for these cities will be releasing data in formats all its citizens can use.
In 15 years time citizens will be more tech literate than they are today, however there will still be many people who do not have the data skills needed to access and use this data. Creating projects and initiatives to allow all citizens to have meaningful access to the data available will be key to empowering the public to have greater interaction with government.
What two pieces of advice do you have for setting up a new data initiative?
- Design your service around the users of the data. Think about the use cases the project data will provide; and what is the best format to enable this.
- Involve designers and artists in your data projects. They can create different routes into the data to widen participation.
Can Open Data contribute to the quality of life of citizens? In what ways and why is this so important?
Having data freely accessible enables the community to access the information it needs to create the change it wants to see. It creates transparency of government and allows individuals to feel truly informed in the decisions the city has made which affect their lives. This in turn creates a more empowered electorate. Knowledge is power and sharing data openly brings more balance between city and citizen.