Open Data Mixer 2019

Emma Findlow
Nov 12, 2019 · 4 min read

Our Open Data Mixer event at the end of October brought together data enthusiasts from the public and private sectors, as well as students and academics from the University of Edinburgh. Across the two-day event attendees explored the many ways in which public open data can be used to help transform lives - through a mixture of talks from industry experts, workshops and group discussions. The event was the result of a collaboration between Wallscope, the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland, the University of Edinburgh Business School and the Scottish Government.

‘We will make more of our rich data public sector data open for social and economic good, and to help people understand how our country is changing.’ Scotland’s Open Government Action Plan 2018–2020

Ken Nicholson, Principal Information Analyst at ISD, introducing the event

Discussion was broadly focused around the themes of security, safety, and wellbeing; climate emergency; and education and opportunity.

Speakers at the event included Paul Worrall of Inrupt Inc. on identity and the ‘me-centralisation’ of the web; Albert King from the Scottish Government on the Government’s open data initiative; Jonathan Cameron from the Scottish Government on NHS Scotland’s journey to efficiency through data; Firas Khnaisser of the Data Marketing Association Scotland on ethics and GDPR; and Jake Ansell and Antonia Gieschen of Edinburgh University Business School providing key insights on data analysis.

The event stimulated some really productive and interesting discussions — around topics like data ownership and control; education and development in the ethics and use of data; linking datasets across organisations and platforms; and applications of synthetic data.

There was also the opportunity to explore datasets that have the potential to influence decisions in various social and economic areas.

The importance of team dynamics and transparency in data projects was also highlighted. For example ensuring you have a representative team (covering security, GDPR etc), which is adaptable to work in a changing landscape.

There were plenty of opportunities for everyone to network and make connections for current or potential projects.

Day 1

Day 2

‘One of the natural ways for innovation to happen is through this cross-pollination of different ideas and perspectives’ — John Duncan, SAAS

‘There was a huge flow of information and discussion, bringing together the revisioning of the internet, security concerns, GDPR, rich data sources and key insights around the value of data.’ — Event participant

If you’re interested in taking part in future Wallscope events, or would like to find out more, please get in touch:


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