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Make It Local Scotland

A practical insight into the digital services created through the Make It Local programme and the impact the open data projects have had so far.

A practical insight into the digital services created through the Make It Local programme and the impact the open data projects have had so far.

Key Findings

  • Teamwork was an important factor for both the internal local authority team and the collaboration between developer and designer – the short timeframe meant that the groups had to form a team and work out roles and responsibilities rapidly
  • Even when an authority is committed to making data sets available, there is often a lack of skills and a shortage of trained staff who can analyse that data
  • The projects acted as an important catalyst in terms of opening up data with the aim of enabling individuals, SMEs and corporates to use this data to create practical improvements
  • The projects have either released previously unavailable information or have taken information which was previously available and made it both more visible and more accessible. Information can now be released more rapidly and more efficiently and with the user-generated content, the information is much richer and up to the minute as a result

Make it Local Scotland is a programme developed by Nesta which aimed to encourage collaboration between local authorities and digital media developers to provide innovative, web-based or mobile services for their communities making use of the data held by the local authority.

Scottish councils were invited to submit ideas which would offer residents and/or visitors a practical service using the data sets which would be opened up by the local authorities.

The councils had to commit to the principle of ‘open’ – the data sets would be opened, the code would be shared so it could be reused by others and the services had to be interactive so that content could be directly uploaded by users. As such, this differs from normal web or app development.

This report looks at the impacts and benefits of the services created for other local authorities and organisations looking to emulate the ideas or develop other ideas around the use of open data sets.

Author
Gerard Darby