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Our First Workshop

Following on from our previous post.

The first workshop seems to have been a great success – fulfilling all of our objectives and an excellent foundation for the next one.

We came up with a convincing list of problems that are central to those who have to help the homeless in Winchester and some information that would make a big difference to addressing those challenges. The participants were great. They all put a great deal of time, enthusiasm and thought into the process. I think those of us from the open data community learned a lot about what a brilliant job the contributing organisations do under very difficult circumstances and also what kind of information would make a difference.  Our challenge now is to see how we can address those information needs from available open data sets.

We also learned a bit about the methodology.  When we planned the workshop we thought it might be over very quickly. In fact it took the full two hours and could have gone on much longer. Most of the planned activities were fruitful, except we abandoned  the attempt to prioritise problems through DIF analysis. Every problem scored a high in every category and anyway it was possible to group them in a way such that they could all be addressed.

Perhaps the most exciting things were:

* The participants from the homeless support community agreed that if we can supply the information from open data then it would make a real difference to their lives

* The participants from the open data community felt this was genuinely new approach to identifying uses for open data