[okfn-labs] Frictionless Data Vision and Roadmap

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Thu Jan 23 09:51:33 UTC 2014

Hi Matt,

That would be fantastic. I note some initial work has been done so you
already have a bit of a start on this. More info in this issue:


Plus you can check out the current appscript


On 22 January 2014 23:02, Matthew Fullerton <matt.fullerton at gmail.com>wrote:

> I really like the vision. I could work on the Google Spreadsheets
> "Integration".
> -Matt
> On 21 January 2014 15:03, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:
>> *There is now a short Frictionless Data "vision" doc online at:*
>> http://data.okfn.org/vision
>> It is based on input from various people and comments would be warmly
>> welcome. I've excerpted some of it below for those who prefer info in the
>> mail client.
>> Regards,
>> Rufus
>> ## Frictionless Data Ecosystem
>> There's too much friction working with data - friction getting data,
>> friction processing data, friction sharing data.
>> This friction stops people doing stuff: stops them creating, sharing,
>> collaborating, and using data - especially amongst more distributed
>> communities.
>> It kills the cycles of find, improve, share that would make for a
>> dynamic, productive and attractive (open) data ecosystem.
>> We need to make an ecosystem that, like open-source for software, is
>> useful and attractive to those without any principled interest, the vast
>> majority who simply want the best tool for the job, the easiest route to
>> their goal.
>> We think that by getting a few key pieces in place we can reduce friction
>> enough to revolutionize how the (open) data ecosystem operates with
>> massively improved data quality, utilization and sharing.
>> We think this because there's a multiplier here that means relatively
>> small changes can have big effects. This multiplier is Network effects: the
>> utility of a particular standard, pattern or even tool depends on how many
>> other people are using it. This means that creating a critical mass of use
>> around the tooling and standards will have a huge effect. This isn't easy.
>> But after working on these issues for nearly a decade we think the time is
>> right.
>> ## A Metaphor
>> Today, when you decide to cook, the ingredients are readily available at
>> local supermarkets or even already in your kitchen. You don't need to
>> travel to a farm, collect eggs, mill the corn, cure the bacon etc - as you
>> once would have done! Instead, thanks to standard systems of measurement,
>> packaging, shipping (e.g. containerization) and payment ingredients can get
>> from the farm direct to my local shop or even my door.
>> But with data we're still largely stuck at this early stage: every time
>> you want to do an analysis or build an app you have to set off around the
>> internet to dig up data, extract it, clean it and prepare it before you can
>> even get it into your tool and begin your work proper.
>> What do we need to do for the working with data to be like cooking today
>> - where you get to spend your time making the cake (creating insights) not
>> preparing and collecting the ingredients (digging up and cleaning data)?
>> The answer: radical improvements in the "logistics2 of data associated
>> with specialisation and standardisation. In analogy with food we need
>> standard systems of "measurement", packaging, and transport so that its
>> easy to get data from its original source into the application where I can
>> start working with it.
>> ## What We Want To Do
>> We start with an advantage: unlike for physical goods transporting
>> digital information from one computer to another is very cheap!
>> This means the focus can be on standardizing and simplifying the process
>> of getting data from one application to another (or one form to another).
>> The following gives an overview of the main areas of work. There is more
>> detail in the Roadmap <http://data.okfn.org/roadmap>.
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*Rufus PollockFounder and Executive Director | skype: rufuspollock |
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