The inventory of currently unpublished datasets will start to go live on data.gov.uk from 2nd September at 1700 for everyone to see what data the government holds.
This is where it gets interesting. We want to see what you think. So, you will have a chance to assess any of the unpublished items that you are interested in. Whether you are an academic, journalist, interested individual, entrepreneur, small to medium sized enterprise, big business, social enterprise, charity, or anyone else with an interest in government data we want you to tell us what we should be releasing and why.
We have tried to make the process as simple and smooth as possible, whilst still giving you a chance to give us as much detail as you would like to about the data you are interested in. We are looking to find out in which key areas you think the datasets will have the greatest impact, whether it be social, economic, public service efficiency or any other area that you can think of. Your feedback will be published openly on Data.gov.uk and will be used by the Cabinet Office Transparency team as well as to departments to prioritise their future dataset releases.
This exercise is intended to achieve two main goals. The first is to give us an idea of what users are particularly interested in so that we can help to get that data out as speedily as possible. The second goal is to identify those datasets that could have the broadest and most significant impact within the UK. These datasets will be made a part of the National Information Infrastructure as set out in the Government Response to the Shakespeare Review.
The data request process will continue for the time-being. This is in recognition of the fact that this first draft of the inventory will not be absolutely comprehensive and that there is still value in allowing individuals to request datasets that they know exist but which have not yet made it onto the inventory. It is envisaged that, in the longer term, as the inventory grows to encompass all government datasets, the user engagement process will replace the existing data request process.
How do I engage?
From Monday 2nd September 2013 at 1700, you will be able to start to explore unpublished datasets in exactly the same way as you search for any other content on Data.gov.uk. You can search all datasets or filter by whether the items are published or unpublished. You can search through all content, filter by publisher or search using key terms. When you find an unpublished dataset of particular interest, you can then click on it to look at the details: the publisher, a description of its content and notes about its possible release.
From here, you can either view other users’ feedback or select to give your own feedback. In order to take part in this process, you will need to be a user on data.gov.uk. This is very simple and quick. All you need to do is click on the ‘sign up’ link in the top right of your screen on data.gov.uk, fill out a couple of details and validate your email address.
The form itself contains 4 short sections for you to fill. In the first section you will have to decide in which area or areas you think the dataset will have greatest impact. You can select the appropriate box or boxes in which to enter your feedback and let us know how it will impact on you or the UK more broadly if it was released openly. Written content about the areas that you select is optional but will significantly increase our ability to understand and use your feedback and make the case to Departments to release the data as open data.
In the linked data section, we want to see whether you think the data could contain important information or vocabulary that could be referred to from other datasets. In the third section we would like you to let us know whether you are responding as an individual or on behalf of an organisation. In the final section, we would simply like to know if you are happy for us to contact you via email to follow up on your feedback.
Your responses will be published on data.gov.uk so that other users can see all of your input. The Cabinet Office Transparency Team, Departments, Open Data User Group and the Public Sector Transparency Board will start the process of assessing and prioritising data releases and assembling the National Information Infrastructure from 16th September. As such, the earlier you can give the feedback, the more likely it is to be taken into account. You will still be able to feedback after this date and departments will continue to see your feedback. However, in order to ensure that the contents of the initial iteration of the National Information Infrastructure are confirmed before the Open Government Partnership conference in October, we will need to start assembling it from mid-September.
You are also invited to a launch event on the 10th September. It will be hosted by the Cabinet Office Transparency Team at 1 Horse Guards Road, SW1A 2HQ.
I look forward to seeing as many people as possible engaging in this exciting process!