friday lunchtime lecture: rethinking open government data

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Ben Unsworth, Data Solutions Engineer at Socrata, explained how immersive user experience and machine learning can help governments engage users and drive better understanding from open data.Our videos: photos: audio: slides: tweets: website: theodi.orgODI Summit videos: is open data?: World of Data:


Presentation Title

Rethinking Open DataBen Unsworth, Data Solutions Architect, Socrata.@benunsworthHow human computation, machine learning and immersive user experience can help drive meaning from data1

About SocrataCloud-based, software-as-a-serviceprovider based in Seattle with regional offices in Washington DC and London. Founded in 2007. Focused exclusively on open data since 2009.With more than 200 blue chip government customers, worldwide leader in open data, performance management and transparency application solutions.Focused on democratising access to public sector data, in order to:Improve citizen engagementIncrease transparency & accountabilityAccelerate government innovationTransform government through data-driven decision makingStimulate ecosystem formation2Open Data CustomersFederalStateCityCityCountyWorldwideWhite HouseHawaiiChicagoNew YorkSan MateoUSAIDMedicareCaliforniaSeattleLas VegasCookWorld BankHHSTexasSan FranciscoBurlingtonKingUnited NationsCDCWashingtonLos AngelesSheffield (UK)Surrey (UK)Gates FoundationATFLombardia (IT)Eindhoven (NL)Bath & NES (UK)West Sussex (UK)South AmericaCFPBFriuli (IT)Bristol (UK)Rubi (ESP)Prince GeorgesEuropeEPAIndianaNew OrleansGava (ESP)HonoluluAustraliaEnergy StarNew YorkDallasCambridgeStrathconaAfrica3

Increase the flow of dataEnrich data with contextOur Mission at Its Simplest4Socrata Open ConnectorsDATA ACCESS LAYEROpen Data API Query Engine Search Geocoding Analytics

Data Cloud



Open Data

Apps Marketplace

Open PerformanceData Discovery & ExplorationChart & Map VisualizationsPublishing WorkflowData Federation & Sharing

Open DataDeveloper NetworkFinancial Transparency SuiteGovernment Admin SuiteCitizen Engagement SuiteCivic Apps EcosystemPerformance DashboardsGuided Goal ComposerDrag-and-Drop Report BuilderPerformanceStat Methodology

5Status quo of open data is only effective at reaching a small subset of personas

Heavy burden on data publishers to manually curate visualisations, limiting the volume of data that can be consumable

As volume of government data continues to grow, existing systems have a hard time keeping up

New Open Data Experience making data accessibleSpreadsheets are not going to get us there





How can we automatically understand datasets?10




How do the humans do?14How do the machines do?


Who we build products for and the problems we solveResidentsLaura (Local Resident)How safe is my neighborhood? Aaron (Community Advocate)I want to see trends in social housing.Dave (App Developer)I need real-time API access to crime data.Government TeamJulie (The Chief Data Officer)How do we get our data to where its needed?Lucy (Elected Official Staff) How do we share data to make better decisions? Trevor (Department Head) I need to shift to self-service digital channels.YourData16Overhauling the user experienceMaking data exploration more engagingHelping data publishers quickly show something interesting

17Advanced exploration, analysis, and sharing for advanced usersReal-time filtering and rollups for performant, on-the-fly analysis

Drag-n-drop view curation

SODA, GeoJSON, and Odata endpoints and plugins for analysis using Tableau, Office (Excel, Power Bl), CartoDB, R, and more

Tools for telling compelling stories with dataData analysis-powered visualisation assignment

Full drag-n-drop view customisation

Advanced styling options

Robust metadata management

Thank You!

Find Us!Socrata.comFollow Us!@Socrata @benunsworthFriend Us! Us!