Just one week left to apply for the Jobs Open Data Challenge!
The Open Data Jobs Challenge has made me think a lot about changes in the way we work now and in the future - and the opportunities open data can provide in helping us create new and better jobs. Jobs are more transitory, jobs are more flexible. Team communication and collaboration is now digital as well as physical.
‘Jobs’ as a sector is all encompassing and most people spend the majority of their life working. Whether you work for someone else or run your own business - applying for the Challenge is a fantastic way to combine creativity, draw on your day-to-day experience and benefit from greater access to information to identify opportunities with far-reaching social and economic impact. For some people the previous challenges have provided an opportunity to accelerate research and development of a new product, for others it’s more of a hobby project - but regardless of why people participate, nine times out of ten they feel the process is beneficial to them, and their idea.
Still deciding whether to apply? Here are some common queries and tips below to help you.
Do you have an idea but you’re worried about skills gaps in your team?
If you have a brilliant idea but not sure if you have all the people / skills you need in your team have a look at the Jobs Challenge Collabfinder - there could be people with the right skills looking to collaborate. Also, talk to me or one of the Challenge team - we can help match you up with people too.
Do you have a team but not sure if your ideas fit the criteria?
The key things to demonstrate in your idea are innovation, use of open data, sustainability and social impact. Sustainability can mean environmental but is predominantly financial - your project needs to stand up by itself and be viable beyond initial support so at the early stage you need to have one eye on the market need that you’re responding too - who is going to pay for this in the long term? Lots of people have asked whether the project can be commercial. The judges do not have a preference of profit making over 'not for profit', or vice versa, as long as you can demonstrate credible societal impact.
A good way to start is responding to user needs which were explored in this simple research by UsCreates. If you are still stuck for ideas, there’s lots of inspiration and case studies in the hackpad and in this recent blog by Emma Beer.
Do you have an idea but not sure about what sort of open data to use?
We have pulled together a number of relevant open data datasets that teams could use in developing their products and services. It’s essential to use at least one Open Government Dataset. While you don’t need to limit yourself to those listed in the jobs data guide (a description of relevant open data), you can find out more about using data in the challenges here. We’ve also collated a data quality indicator spreadsheet (a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the quality of the open data identified).
Do you have ideas, team and data in mind but not sure about the process?
We have tried to create a simple, light touch way for you to submit your ideas through Collabfinder. First you need to register as an individual - then you can register a project. I suggest you take a look at further guidance on the process of applying here. In addition I thought these following mythbusters might be useful:
Does it matter what ‘type’ of person I list myself as?
There are limited choices so just choose occupation that most closely resembles you. Don’t overthink it - it’s not that important.
What are you looking for in the answers?
This is a generic form - it has not been tailored to the Open Data Challenges. In your answers, you must make sure you provide a clear and concise project description - what are you doing and how does it respond to the challenge question? Don't forget to include a link to the open data sets you’re proposing to use, give an indication of the social impact you think will result from your product/service and list your team members (particularly if they’re not signed up on collabfinder themselves). Do refer to the judging criteria if you can.
With only one week to go, now’s the time to ask for help. I am here to answer any queries, support you in developing your ideas. Ask away :-) Contact me via Twitter (@phillirose) or email ([email protected])
Photo credit: photologue_np, Flickr, CC by 2.0
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