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Two opportunities to share your open government data story

Open Gov Data diagram 

Engagement with data users is a key part of the Open Government Data Action Plan, because it helps to understand and prioritise what data users want. Government and citizens are working together to identify priorities for New Zealand and the data needs linked to these.

To do a good job releasing data for reuse, government agencies need to know what users want and what they need. But it is just as important to invest in user capacity, to harness open data to solve challenges we face as a nation.

Sharing our open government data stories is a great way to achieve both these aims. As data users (and potential data users) share their successes and challenges on their open data journey, government agencies learn more about what is needed and how they can help, while others users are inspired to innovate with data for the benefit of all. That’s why StatsNZ sees sharing our open government data stories as a high priority for the Open Government Data Programme – citizen engagement is what open government is all about.

Two major opportunities are currently available for citizens to engage with the open data community and share their stories. The first opportunity is to share your open government story on our case studies page, and the second is to participate in one of the ‘Telling Open Data Stories’ workshops coming up in Auckland or Wellington.

Dozens of case studies have already been shared, contributing to a growing store of invaluable knowledge by – and for – the open data community. Dumpark, for example, is using open data from the New Zealand Household Labour Force Survey to create visual narratives that help people understand complex information. You can read about a new breed of journalist, the ‘data journalist’, whose reporting is all centred on data. And you can read about the life-saving role of open data in post-earthquake Nepal. Immediately following the earthquake, Nepal-based and international volunteers collaborated to create data and tools using Open Street Map and QuakeMap, enabling responding agencies to coordinate the rescue effort.

Share your open data story

Users are encouraged to add to this storehouse of open government data knowledge by sharing their own story.  This is easy to do using the survey form from the Open Government Data Programme. Not a survey as such, but a series of questions – all optional – that help you organise your story. Which dataset/s are you using? How are you using it? How might you use it in the future? What challenges have you faced? Can you suggest datasets you’d like made available for reuse?

Join our workshops

Another opportunity is to share your open government data story is at one of ‘Telling Open Data Stories’ workshops being held in Auckland and Wellington in July. These workshops are a great opportunity to meet others with an interest in open data – from inside and outside government.

Facilitator Dan Randow, will provide guidance on the best way to capture and share case studies, and invite discussion on critical open data issues such as the principles underlying New Zealand’s Open Government Data Programme. The workshops are also a great opportunity to hear more about the Programme; updates will be provided on open data changes underway.

We want to hear as many voices as possible: feel free to tell people what’s happening and invite a friend or colleague to come along. The workshops are for anyone who would like to attend. If you are new to open data, a current user or a government data champion, you’re welcome to join us.

Why not take advantage of these opportunities to share your story and play a part in improving the quality and accessibility of open government data in New Zealand? Working together, we can better use – and reuse – open government data to understand and solve some of New Zealand’s big social, environmental and economic issues.

Join our workshops in Auckland and Wellington


Image credit: justgrimes

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