[@OKau] DataStart

Rosie Williams budgetaus at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 3 22:40:52 UTC 2015

Yeah, I agree with Craig. There are data sets I currently use whose future seems under question including the federal budget data itself (no apparent guarantee the CSV will continue to be published), the federal politician entitlements (not sure what will happen after the review) & ACNC data (agency slated for abolition). ABS SEIFA data depends on the Census although that seems now to be going ahead. Both Comm tenders and Comm grants data have quality issues that make it a real challenge to do the things people would like. Doing open data projects is one way to educate people both within government and the community of the worth of open data and the importance of quality but it's hard to imagine how that kind of goal gels with the VC culture and aims.
As it is, there is no set-up that enables people like me, putting open data to use to give feedback to the government about any of these issues. I could not even get a confirmation out of government prior to the last budget night that they were going to release the CSV. I have to email the politicians individually to request they open data sets or improve the specifications to make data they do release actually useful.  If any feedback is sought from GovHack participants on the quality and usefulness of the data I'd be interested to know, however 2 day hack-festers are probably not in the best position to comment on these issues given their lack of long term engagement with open data.

Rosie Williams BA (Sociology)________________________________________
 NoFibs.com.au - Open Data Reporter | OpenAus - Founder and Developer 

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2015 05:37:06 +1100
From: craig.thomler at gmail.com
To: okfn-au at lists.okfn.org
Subject: Re: [@OKau] DataStart

Yep I saw it.
Initiatives in this area are always good, however I worry about what problem this is designed to solve.
Is it the government's problem that startups aren't using lots of open data to facilitate their businesses, or is it an actual problem where businesses with commercial ideas involving open data cannot find alternative funding options?
I wonder whether the first step should be to ensure that the open data being released by government is both the right data for companies to use to deliver on commercial needs and is being released to a commercial standard.
Frankly while I totally support the increasingly open release of data there's very little that I see being released at a commercially ready level and granularity. Weather and public transport data at state level being a few of the exceptions.
There will be startup opportunists who bake a little open data into their startups to access this fund. There also may be a few hack participants able to take their open data fuelled ideas forward in a more commercial way. 
I am sure the government will happily support both types in the hope this creates some momentum - and I truly hope it does. 
However unless these start-ups have solid ideas with strong business cases and could essentially be profitable even if they had to collect the data themselves or pay for it, by and large government is still an unreliable source of timely and relevant open data and I would prefer to see a large proportion of these funds reinvested into ensuring government provides reliable data rather than on fostering businesses build on data sources that could disappear overnight,
Hmm - will make that a blog post :)
On Monday, 2 November 2015, Ryan Cross <ryanecross at gmail.com> wrote:
Not sure if anyone else saw this announcement. Any thoughts? 

Craig Thomler


Mobile: 0411 780 194 (International: +61 411 780 194)Phone: 02 6161 4508 (International: +61 2 6161 4508)Skype: craig.thomler

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