Make Data not reports

Make data not reports

Good quality open data comes in the form of data not a report. What’s the difference?

For data, put one thing in each column so that the values are friendly for machines and easier to re-use. In the first row, you can see a payment of £18,000 was made on the 3rd of November 2016 in the Yorkshire region. It’s not as friendly for a human but it’s a great starting point for analysis and machines.

This is data
This is data

A report is friendly for humans and easy to read. The way the information is laid out makes it look nicer but is a headache for machines. To use this data, you’d have to do more work to make it tidy [see Tidy Data by Hadley Wickham].

This is a report
This is a report


Tip: Make your open data more usable by making it easy to use.

See all the tips in one place: Good Quality Open Data

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Consultant: Data Science & Data Analysis – Making the complex, simple

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