All hail Open Spending, and Data


(especially Frictionless Data!)

All hail Open Spending, and Data /img/openspending.jpg
Detail of an OpenSpending customizable visualization of city (Berlin) fiscal data

The 2019 Annual Report of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) includes interesting news, on at least two topics that should be more widely known.

Open Spending is an ongoing initiative to support governments in making their finances more transparent. In 2019, OKFN worked with the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency to improve the [OpenSpending platform] and helping governments, including Argentina, Croatia, Mexico and South Africa to publish their budgets in open formats, suitable for quick analyses and comparisons on the same platform, thanks to the OpenSpending Explorer. Try it!

The purpose of the Frictionless Data program is to build software and procedures that makes it easy, for scientists and analysts, to make data “flow with simplicity and grace across diverse tools and teams”. To understand what this means in practice, consider just this case: one of the main goals of Frictionless Data is to “help researchers to easily create reproducible research”. And we all know by now, how much such a capability is important. Both during, and outside pandemics.

(This post was drafted in May 2020, but only put online in August, because… my coronavirus reports, of course)

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