Last Saturday, 21 February, Open Data Day was celebrated globally. Definitely not about to miss out on this occasion, the Open Data Lab Jakarta and OpenStreetMap Indonesia came together to bring about “Open Data for Nonprofits”, an open data training dedicated to data extraction and cleaning. The event attracted a total of 14 data enthusiasts and tech experts ready to hone their (new) data processing skills through the two training sessions given.
Opening the workshop, the first session was run by the OpenStreetMap team on different tools for working with spatial data. They delved into the data extraction tool Overpass-Turbo, which allows users to extract map features and export them directly into text data. The second session was by the Open Data Lab Jakarta, wherein we demonstrated how to transform cluttered digital data into a format more apt for easy machine reading and processing. This process is often referred to as data wrangling.
Data wrangling is often done with the help of semi-automated tools, such as the most popular one, OpenRefine. This software claims – and works from our experience! – to be able to sort any messy data with less manual effort. Our Lab team gave a hands-on training demonstrating the program, and successfully awed the participants with how the tool easily detected and cleared data inconsistencies. Other features such as filtering data, identifying duplicates, splitting data, transforming data and transposing column cells to rows, were also tackled in the workshop.
The event lasted over four hours, with plenty of live showcases from the organisers, alongside a steady stream of scrumptious snacks and drinks. Moreover, given the diversity of attendees, the meet-up also served as a networking ground for different organisations to share experiences and discuss potential collaborations. There were representatives from private companies, CSOs and universities such as Google Indonesia, Satuvisi Inovasi, Transparency International Indonesia, Perludem, and Surya University. At the end of the training, everyone present left with full bellies, gained acquaintances, and most importantly, equipped with new data-handling skills.
The complete materials from the OpenRefine training session can be found in the Open Data Labs Training page.