Questions you want open data to answer

Quest for Questions – summary

Our Quest for Questions Challenge, a call out to the sector to share the burning questions you want open data to answer ended on 31st January, giving us 67 questions. They provide a comprehensive overview of the sector’s information needs.

At the beginning of this journey, we expected to receive a few broad questions focussing on who gives, and where. However, the granularity and the total number of queries exceeded our expectations – we were pleased to discover that there are so many ways you think that open data can enhance grantmaking.

In order to analyse the questions more efficiently, we divided them into eight categories:

  • Grantmaking processes
  • Network effect
  • Sector mapping
  • Funding flows
  • Facts and stats
  • Sector health
  • Geography
  • Tech funding

Sector mapping emerged as the biggest category, dominated by queries regarding the type of organisations receiving funding and the theme of the grants. The discussions that some questions sparked on our forum indicate a lot of interest in finding ways to make the most out of the available data. We hope that our Quest for Questions has encouraged more people to use the existing 360Giving datasets and that it provides a broader context to their work.

However, many questions will remained unanswered. Some of them touched upon various processes and information that are not currently shared. The data is either not being collected, there is no standard to share it or there are ethical issues hindering its publication – such as in the case of unsuccessful applications, where not all funders feel comfortable releasing this data.

Our next step will be launching the second phase of our Challenge Fund, Digging the Data. A panel of experts will select the most feasible questions to be answered from the 67 received. We will then launch a data visualisation competition calling on data analysts to explore the chosen issues in detail and create visually stimulating solutions. One of the chosen questions will be explored in detail by our own data expert, working with a group of funders to produce a new process-driven solution.

A big thank you to all of you who responded to the first phase of our Challenge Fund by sending in a question. We look forward to working with you to solve the most burning ones. Find out more about the Digging the Data prize challenge by emailing our Labs Manager, Mor Rubinstein: mor@threesixtygiving.org

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