Have you ever wondered how to properly ‘open’ data? What skills, background knowledge and software are needed and could be used for it? The Lab’s resident Data Analyst took to the challenge of explaining, training and showcasing his data expertise in mentoring workshops with our Open Data for Transparency partners, E-Net Philippines and INCITEGov.
Last Thursday, together with members of the Jakarta Lab, a training on data scraping, data restructuring and data visualisation was done with representatives from E-Net. Succeeding this, Friday had the team furthering the mentoring approach with INCITEGov, fueled by a public presentation and discussion on the broad spectrum of open data, the state of open data in the Philippines and comparing it to other countries, current processes and full-disclosure policies, as well as the requirements for opening data.
Participants were active in engaging and asking questions, etc. “What is open? What has to be done to make things open? What could we do with the open data and how do we make sure they are reliable?”, and were more than eager in following the technical presentation that followed. Programs and tools explored include Tabula, PDFtables, OpenRefine, OCR tools—and less commonly used features such as transposing, fast-filtering and more had the audience in awe of Google sheets and Excel. Finally, the session was wrapped up with a peak at visualisation tools that could be used such as Tableau, CartoDB and d3.js.
The mentoring workshops were definitely successful: not only were we updated by and with some of our project partners, but it also proved to be a fun and learning-filled two days, with attendees expressing their interest in follow-up workshops. They were happy to embrace the role of citizens ready to be vigilant in monitoring, using and advocating for open data—and our Jakarta Lab couldn’t hope for greater workshop results!
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