Open data: Make it relevant, make it local, make it together


This post is a short introduction to new, innovative open data services from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Local Government Association (LGA),  and the Hampshire Hub Partnership.  They are:


? DCLG’s OpenDataCommunities LinkedData publishing and exploitation platform

? LGA’s LG-Inform; and

? the Hampshire Hub

Further information is provided below.


Individually, these services are blending data from multiple organisations, utilising intuitive, user-friendly tools to provide more open, accessible outputs and new insights.   The key benefits include:

? More transparent and accountable public sector organisations and services - e.g. through providing open, accessible data and evidence to citizens and local communities

? Cost savings and efficiencies - e.g. through reducing time, complexity and overheads of sharing data between organisations

? Better informed decision-making - e.g. by ensuring that organisations are utilising a consistent set of data and information.

? Evidence-based partnerships and decisions, tailored to local needs - e.g. through local authorities developing sector-led approaches to meeting local needs and demands.


Collectively, we are working towards a web of data, drawn from multiple organisations operating at the local and national levels. We believe this broader, integrated set of information would fuel delivery of significant additional benefits: e.g. by further enriching data for policy and service design,  enhancing engagement with citizens and communities, and stimulating economic growth.

The OpenDataCommunities service-  Developed by DCLG, OpenDataCommunities brings together several hundred Departmental datasets, and makes them available in a fully open (5-star LinkedData) and accessible form.    It also provides data directly to various new innovative on-line tools developed and operated by Local Authorities, voluntary and private sector organisations.  The service is now one of 22 commitments in the UK Government’s OGP National Action Plan We look forward to working with users to progressively unlock more Departmental data, and seeing it widely used alongside third-party sources in new and innovative ways.


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The LG-Inform service

The Local Government Association has developed an information service called LG Inform, which presents up-to-date published data about an area and the performance of the local authority, and helps users review and compare that information against other authorities.  LgInform Plus run by esd  provides additional tools to drill down into local areas and find out about services, budget and demographics  at community level. Common standards help to analyse and compare data about local communities.

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The Hampshire Hub.

The Hampshire Hub is a partnership of 20+ organisations, who are sharing data, information and knowledge about Hampshire and the surrounding area.

The Hampshire Hub will contain a mixture of structured and unstructured data, tools, visualisations, articles, blog posts and other information, and will be open by default.

The interim site is available now, and is ‘work in progress’. It will be developed further to include a comprehensive data store during 2014. The Hampshire Hub intends to re-use work done at a national level - by DCLG, LGA and others - and supplement it with local data, insight, and conversation.

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