“We came to India with the mission of finding out what the local challenges are in getting, working with, sharing and publishing data, and this first group gave us some great insights into that.”
Some perspectives from the event include:
- Key problems include knowing who to approach to get data. Often, you need to have a personal connection in order to get hold of the relevant data. You also have to tread carefully with data once you have it, so as to preserve relationships for the future.
- Most people want to collect data themselves rather than trusting ‘second hand’ data collected by the government. (Someone threw out the question to the room, “Which data do you trust more, government or crowdsourced?” the response echoed round the room: “crowdsourced!”.)
- Too few people actually analyse data. In many cases, once people have got hold of the data they don’t know what to do with it.
- Very unclear what the legal/copyright situation is with data that has been obtained from an RTI (Right To Information request). We heard this refrain of uncertainty over and over again at the various meet ups. To the best of the group’s knowledge, no-one had ever been charged for releasing data that was given to them in response to an RTI request. However, anecdotally one person had been requested to cease analyses on government data – and did stop.
What are your thoughts about this?