Open Data at the Nonprofits and Data Summit in Seattle, 8 Aug 2012

Crossposted from Kabissa ( 

I am leading a 60 minute session about Open Data at the Nonprofits and Data Summit in Seattle on 8 August. The event is organized by NTEN, a nonprofit technology support network known for its annual conference in the United States and very useful webinars and newsletters geared towards nonprofits trying to make the most of tech. Thanks to support from Google the summit is free of charge to join. Live streaming via Internet will also be available via the event page, no registration needed. Click here for details and to register.

In many ways, Data should be viewed as the “next frontier” in how nonprofits (and everyone, for that matter) use technology to achieve goals and get our work done. One reason for this is that, increasingly, our work and life is moving online and all of us have become dependent on “cloud” service providers. Those service providers are now in charge of taking care of our data, and that we have to trust them to use it responsibly. (See Another Cloud is Possible webinar video over at Aspiration for an excellent primer)

Open Data is one response for Data-driven nonprofits to consider. If we are already going to be putting our Data online to let other people use it, why not publish some of it using a license and format that allows not just Google or Facebook but anyone to download it and do what they like with it?

Of course this may seem outlandish and doesn’t make sense for all Data, but it’s a conversation you should start in your organization. That’s the purpose of the site I created which encourages everyone to put a /open page on their site outlining their open data intentions (e..g we did this at Kabissa at That’s what I want to talk about in my session at the summit.

From the Nonprofits and Data Summit event page:

Useful data helps nonprofits make good decisions about where to focus efforts and how to allocate resources, and can help secure funding. In fact, data has become a pervasive part of the work most nonprofits do. Join NTEN for a one-day workshop,taking place in Seattle, WA, where we’ll explore ways to make data easier to manage, more useful, and mission-focused.

And my session description:

Technical: Making the Case for Going Open Data – Tobias Eigen

According to the Open Definition, “A piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.” While Open Data may not be for everyone, all data-driven organizations should look at their data and consider going open data with at least some of it for their own good and for the good of the communities they serve. This session will focus on understanding what Open Data means, why it is important, and how organizations can go Open Data.