At the Nominet Trust/Founders Forum for Good event on Big Data last week, Sir Tim Berners-Lee's closing line was 'to pick your data battles' to move the data agenda forward (the agenda of openness, data informed practices etc). It's something that I thought we were doing well at Nominet Trust - we have a number of open/big data activities which are trying to help move this agenda forward with an understanding of how it best supports social organisations. I suppose that as it was at a Nominet Trust event that Sir Tim set out that point is an example of that. But in addition to that event we have been picking our data battles for the past 20 months.
When we conceived of the NT100 our starting point was the simple recognition that around the world digital technologies are being deployed in amazing ways to solve intractable social problems: social exclusion, lack of access to healthcare, education, culture, community; disenfranchisement; abuses of human rights.
We were already aware of a pretty sizeable number of inspiring projects but also conscious that for every innovation we had come across, there were probably many more that were unknown to us. We felt that little had been done to build a truly global picture. more >
Amongst all of the ‘online platforms’, ‘open APIs’, and that massive cloud that holds all our data, you will find me dazed and confused, wandering around in the maze of invisible, intangible technological innovations that somehow now seem to run our collective lives.
For that reason, this NT100 blog is dedicated to the Real, Tangible, Verifiable pieces of technology that are making our lives better and that we’ve discovered during our searches.
Possibly...well I hope not, but there are some exciting possibilities being offered by digital technology to help researchers identify patterns and valuable insights in their evaluation data that might otherwise go undiscovered.
As a social investor we're inescapably dependent on data from the organisations we support if we wish understand our own impact. They too must have their data dependencies: service-users, staff, partner organisations, open data sources or all of the above. Yet 'extracting' the data we're after from our working relationships can be tricky: we none of us enjoy filling in forms at others' behest.
What can we learn from one of our projects about how to go about it?