#forumreport Opendata.ch/2020 Forum: From Data Visions to Action Points

  • Event

Back in June we celebrated the 10th edition of our yearly forum. Where we talked about new data narratives and our visions for the data future. During the forum we held two workshops based on data visions to find concrete action points that we can do today to create a better (data) future.

New data visions

We called for our community to enter data visions which we then worked on in greater depth at the forum. From the 19 visions that were entered via our website, we selected eight to be treated during workshops. We are leaving the form open for entries, in case you would like to let us know about your data vision you can do so here.

You can find the notes on the eight workshops in the table below.

Filling Female Data GapsA world where data is available without gender bias and gaps
Research Data ConnectomeTo connect and organize (meta)data for research sustainably across disciplines, in order to make it widely accessible, interoperable and valuable.
Serving, not SpyingIn ten years from now, I don’t feel observed and manipulated through the Data being collected about me but I can rely on being served by data for better services, better policies and a better environment.
Large Citizen Generated Open Data SetsResearch institutes routinely use large open data sets, where individuals have securely donated their anonymous high quality personal data of different kinds (e.g. contact tracing data, spatial data, shopping data, media consumption, etc.)
Better use of data in Switzerland 1 Public and private sector data is open, shared, and used for public and private good within a trustworthy data ecosystem (“Swiss / European DataSpace“).
Better use of data in Switzerland 2Public and private sector data is open, shared, and used for public and private good within a trustworthy data ecosystem (“Swiss / European DataSpace“).
Solid basis for committed debate and innovationData creates a critically discussable basis for political analysis and joint shaping of our future just as they enable innovations in everyday life – free access and responsible use are indispensable for an enlightened information society.
Open decentralized data storageData is a new form of currency: It is too powerful to be controlled by centralized private entities – let’s build a decentralized system to store, share and use data.
Shared ecosystem of energy data in SwitzerlandData about energy production and consumption is shared openly by Swiss utility companies, promoting open innovation and helping to reach the “Agenda 2030” climate goals.

Defining pain points and action points

From the eight visions that were proposed at the forum, seven were treated in two workshops. Unfortunately not enough people wanted to work on the vision«Large Citizen Generated Open Data Sets». However, the vision «Better use of data in Switzerland» proved to be so popular, that we had two groups working on it. 

In the first workshop, the visions were first made more concrete, then the current situation was recorded and finally the pain points, i.e. the differences between vision and actual situation, were discussed and noted. 

Based on these pain points, the accountable stakeholders were identified in the second workshop. Then action points were noted for these stakeholders, which they can and should address.

You can read the overview of all pain points and action points here.

Pain points

The lack of data literacy was a pain point featured in most of the workshops. The lack of education on data appears to affect many areas. A further problem is the findability and accessibility of data. Even if you find a data set you need, doesn’t mean you can easily use it and integrate it into your research or project. This again is an issue that affects the whole data ecosystem. The second workshop picked up these pain points and after trying to assess the accountability for these developed several action points.

Choosing action points

Among the action points identified in the workshops, three were selected per vision and subjected to a vote on how urgently they should be tackled. Looking at the results of the voting process the following five action points appear to be the most urgent out of the 24 submitted to voting:

  1. Data Literacy: Stakeholder: Institutes and Departments & Research Support: Provide Trainings and Education Sessions. (111/135 points)
  1. Data providers: need to provide good data publication (e.g. publish high-quality data together with metadata), and secure unified open data licences. (110/135 points)
  1. Political decision makers: Provide an easy to understand  legal basis for clear data portability rules and for a decentralized data infrastructure (?). Enable (cantonal) pilots for digital participation. (108/135 points)
  1. Foster cooperation between data user and data provider. On the data user side this means  education (data literacy), good use cases und sustainable data Investment (not only Dashboards). (108/135 points)
  1. Public institutions (libraries, archives, educational institutions, data holders): Provide Infrastructure (as an alternative to Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, etc.) open for everybody. (107/135 points)
  1. Data producers: Be transparent about known flaws in data (it’s better to state/take on than “hide”) and actively seek feedback from data users, to provide better documentation, metadata, and to be able to curate data better. (106/135 points)

Improving data literacy, better data and documentation on it, better legal conditions, better cooperation between data users and data providers and better, more open source infrastructure, is therefore what we will be working toward in the future.  

Next steps

Thanks to the feedback we received, we are looking into ways to improve these priorities. 

If you have an idea on how to actively tackle one of the action points mentioned above or you want to start a working group around one of these topics please let us know via info { at } opendata.ch

On our side, we are already working on data literacy with our Data Café and school of data. We are routinely bringing together data providers and data users at our Hackdays where data providers can experience first hand how their data is being used. A guide on how to (better) publish open data is something we have been thinking about for a long time. It appears it’s not only our association that sees a need for this. We will try to find capacities not only to challenge but also to support data providers as far as that is our responsibility.