Open Data Initiatives: what works, what doesn't, and what you can expect


Thinking of starting an Open Data initiative? Many programs start with great fanfare but achieve little more than putting up a website and sponsoring a hackathon or two. Others start slow and build remarkable achievements over time. The speaker encountered many of the issues attached to running such initiatives as a pro-bono project manager for the NSF-funded National Transportation Data Challenge. This talk will review the lessons of the Challenge and compare with other programs to offer insight into what works, what doesn’t, and what you can reasonably expect to achieve.

In open data intiatives, the outcomes and even the activities are unpredictable, and the work is never completely "done." By their open nature they will attract the involvement of people whose interests differ from those of the individuals who started the initiative. As a result, there can be a need for answers to questions that had not been initially considered, and activities that deviate from to the original stated goals. But it is possible to keep them on track, to measure success and even more so, it is possible to achieve long-term goals. This presentation will examine the factors that can influence the success of these initiatives. It will explore what worked and what didn't for the Challenge, delve into the causes of those successes and failures, cite external examples, and suggest best practices for future initiatives.

Room 104
Saturday, March 10, 2018 - 18:00 to 19:00