Open Data Training Scotland

We had a fantastic year touring Scotland and delivering open data training pilot workshops on behalf of the Scottish Government to a total of 317 public sector delegates from 74 public bodies. We were delighted that the Scottish Government selected UrbanTide to deliver this service.  

We found that the workshops were a good starting point for a lot of people and highlighted the public sector's appetite for more information on open data and the benefits it can deliver for the organisations, their partners and their customers. We learned  a lot from facilitating the open data workshops and have developed an even better understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by the Scottish public sector than we had at the start. It has been a privilege to hear from and help participants explore what’s possible with open data.

It was also great to see participants from different backgrounds and disciplines: GIS, procurement, governance, ICT, data analysis and research. They came together and discussed the barriers and opportunities around open data.

Overwhelmingly Positive Feedback

99.6% of all attendees stated that  the workshop was informative. Furthermore, 97% felt the content delivered throughout the one- and two-day training workshops was appropriate and useful.

We asked two questions at the end of the workshops

  1. What’s your key takeaway message from the training?

  2. What’s the one thing you will do as a result of the training?

Key Takeaway Message

Participants recognised the importance, the benefits and the opportunities that open data can deliver; many said that after learning more about open data it was not as overwhelming as it first seemed. 17% of respondents said that as a result of the training they could immediately improve their open data publications by publishing datasets and improving to 3-star quality.

One Immediate Key Action

Open data advocacy was marked as an immediate action item by 38% of participants and after reviewing the responses the majority of the key immediate actions centered around internal and external engagement, collaboration or developing an open data strategy or publication plan. Delegates found it important to brief their teams and engage them in open data as well as to start securing senior buy-in.  

Workshop after workshop, participants agreed that one of the most useful aspects was to hear and learn from each other and to see where other organisations were on the path towards open data. This included strategy development and publishing, the issues and challenges they are facing and how they plan to overcome those issues and challenges.

A community was beginning to grow around the open data training and we want to continue to make that community stronger.

Key Takeaway and Our Immediate Action

Workshop participants unanimously expressed the need for more training opportunities for themselves and their peers. Building on the lessons learned and experience gained delivering the open data training pilot, we launched a range of new open data training sessions including an Open Data Crash Course, 1- and 2-day workshops and 1-day hands-on sessions where delegates use their own data to learn how to open, cleanse, validate, visualise and publish with our guidance and support. We will be opening an online community for people to carry on discussions, collaborate and share best practices - so keep an eye out for that!

We are holding initial sessions for the rest of 2016 and 2017 across Scotland. If you have any questions or want to talk about our open data training, send us an email or tweet @UrbanTide.

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