We are going to build some demonstrators to show what can be done with open data about grant making. Indigo Trust has engaged Aptivate an NGO expert in data manipulation and visualisation to build some demonstrators and in so doing test the draft data standard. Aptivate will use as a base load the hundreds of thousands of grants we have obtained by FOI from Lottery Distributers.
The work will be carried out in two sprints the first sprint will broadly look at gathering the data and converting it into the 360Giving data standard in a database to learn how well the data standard works. And sharing the experience through blog posts. Any scripts (small programs) that are written to convert data into the standard will be published so that others might use them, as will the database.
One of the issues we expect to arise from the first sprint is that the rough data we have gathered so far, largely through FOI is often lacking useful fields – eg precise location of grantee, their company number etc. This will inform our work to help people publish more useful data and influence some aspects of the second sprint.
The second sprint, depending on the first will roughly look at what can be done with that database of standardised grants that will be useful to grant makers. With Nominet Trust, NESTA and BIG Lottery, Indigo will give Aptivate purposeful, task orientated things to demonstrate with the data that will be genuinely useful to grant makers.
We shall write more about that soon, but suggestions are always welcome – what would you want to know from a database of around 200,000 grants from Lottery distributors, Wellcome, Technology Strategy Board and others covering the length and breadth of the UK?