Open Data for Public Good Seminar

21 Feb 2014 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 13 Nov 2014

NICVA held its first session looking at Open Data on Friday, 21 February 2014.  The session brought a range of speakers to look at the concept of open data and how it can be used for public good.

Stephen Gray, Head of Information Management at NICVA opened the seminar highlighting the basic concept of open data and why NICVA is exploring the topic.  He showed some examples of open data projects and posed the question - what if Northern Ireland had a dashboard like the London Dashboard?

Robert Beatty, Head of Census at NISRA, highlighted the work undertaken by NISRA in gathering, quantifying and ensuring the accuracy of statistics before making them public.  He urged the sector to access and make use of the data provided by the organisation to benefit their work and campaign activity.  Robert also stressed that the privacy of the individual is always protected in any data captured.

The NI Assembly has opened up its data and Michael Cochrane, Application Development Manager at the Assembly gave an overview of how the project has allowed constituents to become much more informed in government processes with the launch of their AIMS Portal site by allowing data on the work of the Assembly and its Committees to be published and freely adapted to offer services such as NICVA’s Assembly Insider.

David Rice, Technical Director at Rumble Labs spoke about how the internet is open by design and by default but it has become 'closed' by society. He argued it is only through open data and transparent processes that we can trust in governments and corporations. David also gave some sobering advice around privacy and safe networking.

Our final speaker Kathryn Torney, Data Journalist at The Detail presented examples of how she uses data to build stories.  Kathryn highlighted some examples from the rich resources on The Detail website including in-depth investigations into suicide figures, segregation in schools and parking ticket allocations.

For more information about this event please contact Stephen Gray on [email protected] or call 028 9087 7777.

Presentations from the event are available below.'s picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Information Officer

[email protected]

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