Open Data Forum update

A big thank you to everyone who came along to the Open Data Forum this week; although we were only a small group, what with half term and other things popping up at the last minute, we had good representation of the different viewpoints we’re trying to bring together. Special mention and thanks to Exeter University for hosting, and to Hannah Ellis-Murdock for organising that.

We got an advance viewing of the new data canvas tool that will be used at next week’s XJamGov – and if you haven’t signed up for that yet, why not? I promise you it’ll be worth it if you can make it.

The data canvas is a service design tool created by Simon Gough of Redfront to help people who are trying to establish the value of data and its uses around a particular need; whether that’s a business requirement, a way to deliver a service or a way to reach and support an individual with information. We think it looks very promising, though it’s still a beta version at the moment, and next week’s activities should help to refine it even further. 

After that we talked about ways we can make the Open Data Forum even more useful; whether we should have more frequent informal events or bigger formal meetings or a mixture of both, and what sort of questions we should be trying to answer. One point that came up was the need to hold meetings at places other than County Hall, particularly if we want more developers to come along (which we do …). With that in mind we’ll be trying to do more in the city centre and at the university. We also heard that it’s not always straightforward for members from the private sector to make space for daytime events like XJamGov and the follow up meeting we’re planning, and we need to look at different ways of getting people together based on what works for them.

With that in mind there are two things we will do starting now; future Open Data Forum events will be held at the University or other equally convenient central venues, and the post-Jam breakfast meeting on Friday 6th June will be at the new Exeter Library so people can pop in before starting work if it suits them.

For more information on any of this, drop us a line at or leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you. Once we’ve settled details for the next one we’ll post it on the Events page here.


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