Media Mill Gazette 44

Power laws, ODI grants and invisible pants (well cloaks).

FUNDING: ODI Showcase Spring call for applications (
The ODI is offering two grants of 7K to “help deliver and tell the stories of innovative uses of data that demonstrate longstanding value to others.” The summer call example are also available. (

The future will be built on open data – here’s why (
An overview piece on open data that focusses on Glasgow City Council and Innovates smart city project (nice video)

The Power Law of Data Opening (
Whether you’re familiar with concepts like the long tail ( or not, this will make for some fascinating reading – “The popularity and usefulness of Open Data thus seem to follow a Power Law! ”

Agent-Based Model of the Information Economy: Initial Thoughts (
Jeni Tenison ponders how we measure and track the information economy beyond case studies. An interesting take on a very real problem that vexes me – understanding value and impact properly in open data. (part two at

Just Using Big Data Isn’t Enough Anymore (
An interesting article that looks at big data in fortune500 companies. But the insights are interesting especially in highlighting the need for good metrics. Mechanisms to manage and see ‘big data’ are becoming accepted. Now people are looking for ways to measure what it means.

Why Big Data Needs Thick Data (
In contrast to the Fortune500 big data approach, this article talks about the need for Thick data – “data brought to light using qualitative, ethnographic research methods that uncover people’s emotions, stories, and models of their world”. It’s an ethnographic term but the use of Nokia as a case study is compelling. It’s interesting to ponder if data journalism is thick data.

Need to Know newsletter (
I saw the previous two links in the excellent Need to Know newsletter from the American Press Institute. One worth looking at.

EVENT: Open Data Day London 2016 (
The Open Knowledge Foundation have an open data data day on Saturday 5th March 2016. The focus in on tax justice and inequality.

Event: Wigan Council – The Deal In Action – Free Civic Hack Day (
If you want something closer to home then Wigan Council are holding a hack day on Saturday, 5 March 2016 “focused on helping the Council better understand the needs of the local population, and develop new and innovative digital solutions to local problems.” BTW. “The Deal ( is an informal agreement between the council and everyone who lives or works here to work together to create a better borough.”
It turns out Leeds is in the top 10 cities for entrepreneurs according to a report from UCL
Sports technology: How open data can help Britain end the scourge of physical inactivity (
Growing support for London’s “fit-tech” sector as tech and data bods including the ODI, get together to look at how tech can get people to be more active.
Open Data in Government (
What struck me as interesting about this short article from Data consultants Data to Value was how it represents the default rhetoric of economic value. I did raise an eyebrow at the 400m economic value from open cardiac data but it’s one you see a lot – one of a growing number of canonical examples

Open Data Strategies of Real-time Cities Part 2 (
It’s not a cheap report but its interesting to see Cambridgeshire and Tatarstan in the same document. The Kazan project ( looks interesting in a smart cities sense (although the track record for ground up smart cities isn’t great) but I had always seen Cambridge ( as already in the game in terms of open data.

Journalism as a professional model for data scientists. (
As data moves front and centre in many things data scientists need to consider their place, role and responsibilities. Does journalism have the right approach? “journalists do have decades of experience developing norms and practices to balance their considerable privileges against enormous amount of scrutiny and risk.”

How big data and thinking small could help save journalism: Delacourt (
” stop looking for the moon shot” and focus on smaller innovations in order to stay relevant.”

The Rise of the Crime Beat ‘News Nerds’ (
“Data reporting has transformed criminal justice journalism. It’s also contributed to the emergence of an information-sharing ethos on a beat usually seen as hyper-competitive.” For the non-journos on the list a beat is usually a topic to cover. Crime is always a choice pick because it gets you front-page stories.

Future fashion: technology that outruns our imaginations (
Some really interesting stuff in this InnovateUK overview of smart tech and fashion including some lovely wearable/fashion tech by The Unseen (