Excuses for Data Hugging

At the Open Knowledge Conference on Open Data that was held recently in Berlin (more to follow), Andrew Stott, who led the work on data.gov.uk, shared a sample of “data hugging” excuses:

  • It’s held separately by n different organizations and we can’t join it up.
  • It will make people angry and scared without helping them.
  • It is technically impossible.
  • We do not own the data.
  • The data is just too large to be published and used.
  • Our website cannot hold files this large.
  • We know the data is wrong.
  • We know the data is wrong, and people will tell us where it is wrong.
  • We know the data is wrong, and we will waste valuable resources inputting the corrections people send us.
  • People will draw superficial conclusions from the data without understanding the wider picture.
  • People will construct league tables from it.
  • It will generate more Freedom of Information requests.
  • It might be combined with other data to identify individuals/ sensitive information.
  • It will cost too much to put it into a standard format.
  • Our IT suppliers will charge us a fortune to do an ad hoc extract.

So just be prepared, these and other concerns will be expressed and need to be countered. Apparently administrations cling to “their” data and need to learn that it’s our data to begin with. ;)

Comments are closed.