Dan O’Neil on WBEZ re: the Limits of Open Data

WBEZ LogoOn Monday, Smart Chicago Executive Director Dan O’Neil went on WBEZ’s Tech Shift to talk about what the Homan Square story says about open data in Chicago.

Dan wrote a blog post on both the Smart Chicago blog and his own personal blog with his thoughts on the issue.

Dan spoke about how he’s been a big fan of the open data policy, but that we’ve run right against the limits of open data. Some things are just not publishable, and data that does get published has limited utility. The crime incident data, for instance, has always been limited and the city’s always been upfront about it. (More here.)

Dan also spoke about how the Open Data movement has had the general idea that if we release data, steps 2-10 (the civic innovation) will occur all on it’s own and how this may not be true.

Dan stated that we can’t have a data-first solution for civic tech. We have to start with people and with what they know.

Boohood also asked about the recent discovery of missing crime data on the data portal that was uncovered by the Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown blog.  Dan responded by stating that the people who ran the blog did a great service – they used the portal to find a specific case – spoke out about it – and resulted in more data being added.

Here’s the whole interview: