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Open Data User Group (ODUG) Annual Membership Refresh: call for applications

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The Open Data User Group (ODUG) has had a busy second year during which we have evidenced solid demand for open data via the data request process on, continued to press for the open release of key datasets highlighted through previously published benefits cases, published new benefits cases for additional datasets, responded to a number of consultations and reached out to a very wide stakeholder network.

The datasets we have identified as priorities for release as open data are almost all making progress; either data has been released or the process of consulting on its release is underway. Progress may seem a little slow from the outside, for example in the case of geospatial data and associated derived data restrictions, but ODUG has made sure that, where the Government is making decisions on opening up data, there is solid, well-evidenced advice on the table about the potential benefits of each dataset – for transparency, improved public service delivery, public sector efficiency and to underpin opportunities for innovation and growth in the digital economy.

There is now an ODUG member on each central government department transparency board and this year we have allocated most of the ‘Release of Data Fund’ to support a number of important projects which will build capacity and release new open datasets. Our recent focus on Local Government data is one of the areas ODUG will continue to focus on in the coming year.

My thanks go to last year’s ODUG members – several whom have put in two years service, for the high quality of their volunteer work, also their enthusiasm and wider support for the open data agenda.

As ODUG members are appointed for a year it is now time to refresh the membership again, to give more people a chance to join the group and represent the needs of open data users.

ODUG meets monthly in London.  We expect members to attend meetings and to contribute to providing evidence of the benefits of releasing more data.  ODUG members are also asked to represent the group at external events to help us engage with the broadest possible range of stakeholders.

If you are passionate about open data this is an exciting opportunity to help push the agenda forward. The position is unpaid and no expenses will be paid, but it is fun and very worthwhile!

Please apply to join the group this year if you are passionate about open data, can bring strong data, business, technology and research skills and can engage with a wide range of users in their sector to bring their views to the table for discussion.  I will read and consider all applications and look to appoint a good cross-section of new members for ODUG’s third year. The application process may include a short informal meeting with prospective members.

Download the application form here.

Deadline for applications is 22 August 2014. Submit completed application forms to:

For the ODUG terms of reference see here.

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