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Open Data Training: we loved it, we want more!

Guest blog post by Urban Tide.

Urban Tide, Edinburgh based smart cities and data company, has just wrapped up a full year-long open data training programme for Scotland’s public services. The team delivered workshops to a total of 317 public sector delegates from 72 public bodies through 27 workshops across Scotland.

Building on the lessons learned and experience gained delivering the open data training pilot, Urban Tide launched a new set of open data training sessions and workshops, each of which has been developed based on a full year of training feedback.

The Open Data Journey often starts with a good workshop

The Scottish Government’s training pilot was recognised as a success by Urban Tide, as the workshops fulfilled their aim of aiding Scottish public sector organisations on their journey to understanding more about Open Data, becoming familiar with the benefits, challenges and technical aspects of it and eventually taking steps towards developing Open Data strategies and publication plans for their organisations. The results of post workshop evaluation showed that delegates recognised the importance, the benefits and the opportunities that open data can deliver with a lot of people saying that after learning more about open data it was not as overwhelming as it first seemed. Almost a quarter of the respondents said that as a result of the training they could immediately take steps to improve their open data publication.

Open Data Advocacy – the birth of Open Data Champions

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

Steven Revill, Urban Tide Chief Operating Officer and Principal Trainer: “It was fantastic to talk about open data with so many talented people from many interesting organisations. Although we delivered the training, the attendees made the workshops so effective because the breadth of knowledge among them meant there were always new insights to consider.”

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 toward open data.

Workshop participants also expressed the need for more training opportunities for themselves and their peers.

Urban Tide’s new open data training programme

Urban Tide developed a training series with a variety of workshops ranging from crash course style introductory training to 1 and 2 day workshops with a hands-on session where delegates can use their own data to learn how to open, cleanse, validate, visualise and publish data with Urban Tide’s guidance and support.

Initial sessions are being held in October, November and December in Edinburgh and Glasgow with more sessions throughout 2017 across Scotland. If you have any questions or want to talk about the open data training, visit Urban Tide’s website or send an email or tweet @UrbanTide.

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