What good is open data if we don’t know how to find and use it?  The digital age has ushered in new opportunities to better understand our communities and demand accountability from our governments. In an intensive two-day master class, digital publishing expert Phillip Smith introduced some of the “working with data” tricks he has learned in over 15 years working with advocacy organizations, publishers and groups such as Civic Access and the Electoral Data Consortium.  He is currently working to advance the field of “news innovation” through Mozilla and The Tyee.   Come join us as Josh Rose and Jonathan Kift present present on how organizations make sense of data, and to use data to tell compelling stories.

Dodson Room (Room 302), June 15, 2.00PM to 3.00PM 

Presenters

Josh Rose

I first became interested in Open Data while taking a Data Mining course in 2011 at Syracuse University through SLAIS distance learning. The course covered data mining theory and how machine learning can be used to extract knowledge and solve problems involving large amounts of data. Using Weka, an open-source data mining software application, I learned to pre-process and clean data for analysis before applying different machine learning concepts like classification, association rules, and clustering, to gain a clearer understanding of underlying patterns in data sets. For a final project, I combined Vancouver’s bicycle count data and publicly available weather and gas price data to show patterns of bicycle use in Vancouver over time. Currently, in my work as a GAA at UBC Library’s Assessment Office, I work with qualitative and quantitative data from surveys, usage statistics, and gate counts to create metrics to assess the library’s performance and reduce uncertainty in library decision making. I find working with data to be a challenging and rewarding process which I believe will only grow in importance as more and more data is collected and made available in all spheres of our lives. I am interested in attending the Tyee Master Class about Open Data to learn more about practical tricks and techniques for working with data as well as the chance to meet other workshop attendees and see how they are gathering, analyzing, and using data to benefit a larger community. This course will benefit me by allowing continued exploration of open data and analysis techniques, which I hope to use in my current and future jobs.

Jonathan Kift

Ever since I had the opportunity to listen to Andrea Reimer’s keynote at the ACCESS conference last October, I’ve been excited about the possibilities of working with Open Data in Vancouver. I developed a paper on GIS and Open Data for last Fall’s Community Informatics (LIBR 548H) class which I was able to turn into a poster to present at this year’s SLAIS Research Day. I feel that taking open data and making it accessible to the wider public through explanation and visualization is a skill that will be critical for taking my career where I want it to go. In addition, in my year as a co-op student at UBC LSIT (Library Systems & IT), I have had a chance to be part of several presentations to library staff and I feel comfortable in that role.


For more information, please contact: Gordon Yusko or Allan Cho

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Kelly Blidook, Constituency Influence in Parliament. Countering the Centre (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2012).

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