ODUG is dead, long live ODUG (Open Data User Group)

I heard about the Open Data User Group a couple of years ago and last year was fortunate enough to be chosen (in a transparent manner) to be a member.

The thing that impressed me at the first meeting was the range of expertese about open data in the room both from the public and private sector. It was the imposter syndrome writ large. They also turned out to be a great group of people and the chair Heather Savory was an inspirational leader. All the members did any work on their own time; and Heather worked full time in a role that was in fact part time. So there was a lot of personal committment all round.

There were ups and downs plus a huge amount of frustration about the obstruction and obscurantism across the public sector to making data publicly available. There was a lot of ‘really?’ ‘they said that?’ ‘how long?’ ‘in what format?’ ‘but we raised this x time ago surely they have done more than that?’.

However like a mayfly ODUG’s short three year life span has expired. As a result there is no significant group representing #opendata users in the UK. This cannot be right at a time when more and more conversations come back to data, openess, quality, economic growth etc.

You can help though, yes you can. We have written two notes: one highlights some of the outstanding issues for data in the public sector; the other lists our lessons learnt.

These documents are worth both reading and sharing to keep up the pressure for a group to succeed ODUG. We are not precious, any group is better than none, though preferably with some sharp and pointy teeth.