Feeds

Data.gov.uk chief admits transparency concerns

Raw info may be too confusing

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The head of the government's website for the release of public sector data has said it is a challenge to ensure that users can understand the statistics.

Cabinet Office official Richard Stirling, who leads the team that runs Data.gov.uk, said that if he was at the Office for National Statistics he would have concerns about statistical releases and people making assumptions "that aren't quite valid".

Speaking in a podcast published on Data.gov.uk on 29 July 2010, he expressed a worry about whether "people understood the accuracy of the methodology and were able to draw sensible conclusions".

"We've tried to take some sensible steps to address that. One is through putting a short two or three paragraph description of what the dataset is on Data.gov.uk alongside the files and also a link to more detailed guidance," Stirling said.

On the subject of whether the government should move towards providing aggregated data rather than raw information that the public may not understand, he said that the coalition plans to "put more work into doing that" in some situations.

"I think what is likely to happen is datasets where there is an awful lot of interest and we can see that there is interest and there is a lot of interest in the visualisation of it, then I think we'll put more work into doing that web front end," the civil servant added.

But Stirling said he was mindful about not duplicating aggregated data that had already been carried out by the public.

"You've got to ask yourself, 'Is there any value in us replicating that and should we showcase what someone else has done?'" he added.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.