Major Data Sharing Project Between Manchester Councils

Mar 28, 2014

Manchester City Council, Salford City Council and Trafford Council have partnered up to find the best way to make the most of their data.

Together with two digital organisations, Connected Digital Economy Catapult and Future Cities Catapult, each council has appointed an external expert known as a “code fellow” to help them co-ordinate and release information.

These were appointed this month, along with a fourth technical advisor who will be working across the whole project.

“Linked data allows you to discover things about your information that you never knew, all with minimal extra work,” claimed Ian Dunlop, the project’s technical advisor.

“When you have converted your spreadsheets once, you have the tools and knowledge to do it again. Using government and industry standards allows you to utilise the hidden knowledge and power locked inside your data,” he added.

No Need To Upgrade IT Infrastructure

Dunlop also noted that the councils can use their existing IT infrastructure as linked data is powered by things they are already using, such as HTML and the Internet.

To stimulate collaboration between the Manchester authorities, a series of coding and data events have been planned. It is hoped that these will provide better access for businesses and individuals wishing to make use of the information.

“This scheme is designed to help local authorities overcome some of the barriers we face by making our data available in properly open formats,” claimed Jamie Whyte, head of data innovation at Trafford Council.

“With this project we will have the opportunity to match more linked data from multiple sources and the potential for new skills to be learnt,” added Nigel Murphy, lead member for digital at Manchester City Council.




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