[@OKau] Light at the end of the tunnel

Rosie Williams budgetaus at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 25 06:24:21 UTC 2015

I've been struggling a bit over the past weeks getting a grip on the huge project I have undertaken. I finally feel I'm getting somewhere. I'm still on the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme thanks to some donations. I have some plans for the #OpenAus chats moving forward so I thought I'd post my latest blog post here:https://openaus.net.au/blog/2015/09/25/openaus-qa/

Give or take a few bugs, I finally seem to be getting on top of things at OpenAus. Building such a complex site to address financial and political transparency questions in such a short time-frame has been a huge challenge. The site has been through a rapid evolutionary process over the past weeks while I figured out the best way make usable searches totalling Commonwealth grants data, tenders data and budget data.I've taken out some functionality to simplify navigation while integrating data from different sources to produce an entirely new level of financial information. I am also in the process of re-designing the user interface to make it mobile ready and vastly simplify navigation to access data. It has been a real challenge keeping up with my own evolving vision for the site and after some weeks I am finally approaching something that is both powerful and easy to use- not an easy combination of requirements to meet!
I will be building apps to provide further functionality so I'm in for a busy few months. The change of ministry brought with it movements of some government functions to other agencies. Structural changes are normally announced for implementation in the May budget so this new movement of functions and agencies from one portfolio (and Minister) to another will mean a busy time for me updating the existing data mid-cycle at BudgetAus. I've also added an easy way to find program cuts and increases to BudgetAus along with the latest revision of the Register of Organisations data.
Balanced against all this coding is my weekly chat to keep in touch with people via the #openaus hashtag on Twitter. I was originally planning on focusing on a different topic each week but found that I was struggling to find the time to blog about each week's discussion- useful though they are. While I do need to catch up with everyone on a weekly basis for my own sanity as much as anything, I have changed the topic focus events to monthly on the 2nd Sat each month.
Given the current refugee crisis, I've set down October 10th topic as Asylum Seekers. November 14th will be Housing and Homelessness. Regular chats run from 10-11am Saturday mornings but you can post to the hashtag at any time. I am building a list of resources for open data projects on these topics and will be publishing Q&A's with insiders on these topics to coincide with the chats. The chats are a place to find people who share common interests & share resources.
I'd like to thank everyone who has been patient with the development of what has been my very complex beast OpenAus. I wondered myself from time to time if I'd ever come to a point where I felt I had achieved my goals but now feel the time is close at hand. If you would like to support the work I do please visit the sponsorship page. Your help means I can pay for my servers and over time hopefully build up an income to support the important work in financial transparency in the longer term.

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