11. Training and Resources
To help get you started we have pulled together all of the useful resources referenced throughout this pack, plus a few extra.
Scottish Government Training
In July 2015 the Scottish Government ran a procurement process for the provision of open data training across Scotland. Urban Tide were selected as the preferred training partners to progress this work with the Scottish public sector. The format of the training has been in both one day and two day workshops:
- The one day workshop was designed with the needs of public sector leaders, senior managers and data owners in mind. It provides an introduction to Open Data and explores the potential benefits to an organisation
- The two day workshop extends the learning of the one day session to help an organisation implement the principles and practice of Open Data in line with the Open Data Strategy. This is designed with the needs of Open Data practitioners in mind, and includes detailed knowledge on developing Open Data publication processes and standards.
The training will run until end September 2016 and feedback received has been very positive. There are still some sessions available, and availability can be found on Eventbrite. Participants have particularly welcomed the opportunity to share knowledge and exchange ideas with other attendees.
SEPA - Practical use of the Resource Pack
SEPA, following guidance in the Resource Pack, is looking at the demand for SEPA data:
- The data needs to be made easily accessible to the public using SEPA's business-as-usual processes
- The user's needs have to be understood so that effort is concentrated in the right place and a priority list of datasets is created
- The user's needs should be balanced against the needs of SEPA, creating a publication plan which produces tangible benefits for all parties
- The demand for SEPA data comes through a number of channels - data and diligence requests, FOI/ EIR requests, science helpdesk calls and calls and emails to Floodline and the SEPA Contact Centre
- By analysing the requests that come in through these channels and the methods employed in servicing them, SEPA will be able to identify the most requested data and construct efficient business processes to deliver them resulting in a system which gives the user immediate access to the data he needs while alleviating demand on SEPA staff time - a win-win solution
- An analysis of data and diligence requests for Q1/2016 showed the type of information that was asked for and the amount of staff time and resources that is being consumed
To this end, SEPA designed a survey that they sent to relevant contacts to ask for feedback.
SEPA hope that this work will enable them to create a SEPA Data Service that will allow users to serve themselves from a SEPA Data Download and discovery site. This Service should give a better experience to our users but also reduce the work required by SEPA staff to process requests for data and allow them to concentrate their resources on making more data open.
The James Hutton Institute - Practical Use of the Training
Staff from the James Hutton Institute attended the two day open data training workshops. Open data was recognised as a major opportunity for The James Hutton Institute - particularly in terms of organisational profile and enabling access to research - and the workshops were considered timely. Prior to the sessions, colleagues were aware of open data and aware that it was gaining momentum. However, they also acknowledged there was a steep learning curve to this process.
The workshops provided James Hutton Institute colleagues with an opportunity to hear from other organisations and to learn that similar challenges were encountered across the public sector. In the words of one participant, it allowed them to realise that 'we're all singing from the same hymn sheet'. It also enabled them to recognise areas of best practice in their own organisation.
James Hutton Institute colleagues felt the training equipped them with an understanding that data is an asset and it helped set the scene in terms of where their own organisation would go. They are now in the process of preparing a paper for their senior management team, to ensure open data plans gain senior management buy-in.
The open data guides cover most elements of open data and you may find it helpful to refer to them first before using more specific guidance.
Open data guides - For those new to open data
Open data guides - Further information
Email: Stuart Law, Stuart.Law@gov.scot
Kyle Malcolm, Kyle.Malcolm@gov.scot