The Open Data User Group (ODUG) is about to kick-off for its third year with a refreshed membership. It’s important to me that I review the membership each year for a number of reasons. For example: being an ODUG member is a voluntary activity and one which requires a real personal time commitment – we do much more than just meet up and chat! Also, the new members each year bring different skills, experience and perspective to the group – so it keeps us fresh and relevant as the Open Data agenda moves on.
This year six previous ODUG members are being re-appointed and eight new faces are joining us. This provides the right balance in our being able to continue previous themes of work at pace and should also allow us to tackle some new areas during the course of the year.
ODUG will continue to work closely with its retiring members to maximise the expertise available to us and our level of community engagement. Members who are stepping down will be hugely missed and I am very grateful for everything they contributed to the Open Data agenda last year. ODUG’s work to evidence real-world demand for open data, its potential to deliver social and economic benefit and work across departments and with other data custodians is helping accelerate the process of open data release. We are starting to see a real change in culture and attitudes toward public data as a valuable national resource and, perhaps most importantly this year, we are helping demonstrate the real benefits of open local data, within Local Authorities and more widely.
There were some really strong applications made this year to join ODUG. Having made some difficult choices and thinking about the topics we will tackle this year the new membership is:
Bob Barr – Manchester Geomatics
Charlie Boundy – BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
Simon Briscoe – Full Fact
Stuart Chalmers – Building Research Establishment (BRE)
Hendrick Grothuis – Cambridgeshire County Council
Paul Hodgson – GLA
Nick Halliday – NAO
David Kane –National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
Ian Makgill - spendnetwork.com
Paul Malyon - Experian
Giuseppe Sollazzo –St George’s University
Jacqui Taylor – Flying Binary
Jeni Tennison – The Open Data Institute (ODI)
Johanna Walker – The Web Science Institute, University of Southampton.
I’m looking forward to continuing to work with re-appointed members and new members alike. Our first meeting will be on Monday 29th September so please watch this space for more about our areas of focus and support us in any way that you can as we continue to work across the public sector to convince our political leaders and data custodians that they should make more data open for all.