Using 360giving standardised data we have worked with developers Aptivate to produce a grant navigator – GrantNav – that allows searching, charting and mapping of UK grant data from a dozen or more major grant makers.
360giving is about helping people publish data – we provide support, advice and a data standard that enables data to be compared. If you can use a spreadsheet, you can publish to 360giving. Having a common standard allows data from different grant makers to be compared, contrasted, searched and analysed far more easily. It’s a bit like people speaking in the same language and using the same alphabets and numbering systems – you can understand a lot more.
Now we have lots of 360giving-standardised data (see our Summer 2014 update) people can build things with it and start to use the data to tell stories. As part of our testing of 360giving, we thought we would get the ball rolling with a simple 360-powered demonstrator, GrantNav.
We began by using the rudimentary grant data published by the lottery distributors and some statutory grant makers, often in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. The technology for development NGO Aptivate converted this data to the 360giving standard we found some grant maker’s data online, which we also converted and we began to gather more comprehensive data published to the 360standard by early-adopting private grant makers.
Aptivate then worked with us to create a prototype searchable database of about 240,000 grants worth some £16 billion over 20 years from over a dozen grant makers. The GrantNav beta also allows comparative charts to be drawn of grants over time. Where grant makers have provided good location data, Aptivate have also mapped the grants.
GrantNav is deliberately rough and ready – we want 360giving to be about the publishing of data for others to analyse, visualise or search (we are talking to researchers and sector analysts all the time). GrantNav is also a ‘beta’ – which means it is testing and development, will contain errors and things will go wrong – and we are adding new data as it arises. But we thought we would set the ball rolling and see if this database woudl help people make better grants. And what the wealth of data talent in and around the sector can come up with using the data we have standardised.