- Partcipatory research
- Actor map
- Customer Journey map
- Usability testing
- Iterative development
During the Professionals Supported – Rotterdam Open Data, a SIA Raak project, a two year project, by the Rotterdam University of Applied Science, we worked on data release for public sector reuse. Moreover we investigated what would be necessary to give citizens insight in these data and if they are capable of gathering and adding relevant data themselves. This case study describes two applications: the Open Data Decision Model and the Score Ze application. The Open Data Decision Model was designed for the Rotterdam Municipality to help their employees to decide if their data can be released for public sector reuse. Whilst the Score Ze application was designed and developed to investigate how public data gathering influences public policy making.
"The Decision Model consists out of seven questions concerning privacy, intellectual property, confidentiality, public safety, unfair competition, a cost-benefit analysis and the format in which the data is stored"
The Decision Model was iteratively developed in a four stage process. Through structured interviews, with members of the departments of City Works, City Archive and City Development, an inventory of Open Data laws and restrictions was made. Findings, in the form of guiding laws and their explanation, were implemented in a first iteration - a flow chart of the decision model. This PDF document of the Decision Model was evaluated and refined together with the Open Data Program Manager of the Municipality and resulted in a second iteration. In a third iteration the model was developed into a low fidelity prototype. This Flash version of the Decision Model was tested with eight employees of City Works, City Archive and City Development. The test results were analysed, especially paying attention to the contents of the questions asked in the model and the usability of the model. Conclusions from the usability test were implemented in a last version of the Open Data Decision Model.
The Decision Model consists out of seven questions concerning privacy, intellectual property, confidentiality, public safety, unfair competition, a cost-benefit analysis and the format in which the data is stored. This Science Guide article explains the questions in more detail. The fourth and final iteration of the model, was developed in php, xml, css, html. Since the Decision Model was designed for the Municipality there was decided to use the CSS stylesheet of the website of the Rotterdam Municipality for the final version of the decision model. All the files are open source available in the footer of the Decision Model and can be downloaded and integrated in websites of Open Data initiatives. Next to the online Decision Model, a PDF version of the model can be downloaded, together with an overview of open standards and a disclaimer.
Last iteration of the Rotterdam Open Data Decision model.
"By means of Score Ze citizens can gather data and inform city maintenance policy, leading to more human centered city budgeting"
The second application - Score Ze, is an application to score the neighbourhood on the parameters clean, intact and safe on a scale from 1-5. Your individual scores are compared with the scores of the community and Municipality. By means of this application citizens can gather data and inform city maintenance policy, leading to human centered city budgeting. Three traditional data gathering initiatives were visited and we participated in their inspection rounds around the neighbourhood. This participatory research approach and several structured interviews provided more insight in traditional data gathering initiatives and their stakeholders. Citizen Blue and Drugs in Color are both data gathering initiatives in Rotterdam. They are created to inform the Municipality about the state of the neighbourhoods. The volunteers who gather data are working in close cooperation with the Municipality, a relationship build on mutual trust that took many years to grow. Also the Municipality undertakes inspection rounds around the city. They inspect several locations, at specific moments, based on the parameters clean, intact and safe. To guide city workers the Municipality developed a methodology in which pictures illustrate the situation on a 1-5 scale, resulting in less subjective data and therefore more reliable results. The three cases were documented in the form of an actor map, in which we mapped: all actors, triggers for data gathering, data transactions and the level of data enrichment with every data transaction made. The cases were compared to each other by means of these maps and the main process steps were selected.
The observations during the participatory research and answers from the structured interviews, resulted in six important elements in traditional data gathering i.e.: mother organisation, legitimacy through authority, standardisation & methodology and data gathering (gathering, interpretation, presentation, feedback) and short-, mid- & long-term outcome. With the conclusions from the research phase a brainstorm was held with people from the Municipal cluster City Works. This brainstorm resulted in a number of concepts, from which the Score Ze idea was derived and visualised in an initial customer journey map. The initial customer journey map was organised according to the six elements found in traditional data gathering initiatives and the identified requirements and wishes from City Works, the Professionals Supported and data gathering citizens. The customer journey map together with a concept brief was communicated to YipYip, a full service internet agency, who developed an initial version of the application.
"The research indicated that standardisation and the method of data gathering are of great influence on the legitimacy of the data gathered"
The research indicated that standardisation and the method of data gathering are of great influence on the legitimacy of the data gathered. Therefore the ‘Score Ze’ application is based on the standardisation method of City Works and guides citizens by means of images. Trying to assure the validity, comparability and credibility of the data. A paper prototype of the application was tested with end-users, during the Internet of Things Week Rotterdam, by means of structured interviews. Moreover there was held an interview with City Works to validate the first iteration prototype. The results were analysed and integrated by YipYip into a final iteration, an IOS based application.
User interfaces of the Score Ze application
The Open Data Decision Model and the Score Ze Application are both in use by the Municipality of Rotterdam. The ‘Professionals Supported – Rotterdam Open Data’, was concluded with a publication containing all studies that were conducted during the project. The 300 data sheets that were released during the project are open source available in the Rotterdam Open Data store. Currently the project still serves as an inspiration for other Open Data projects.
Publications & Related Work
Participatory data gathering for public sector reuse - Lessons learned from traditional data gathering
Stembert N., Conradie P.D., Mulder I.J., Choenni S. (2013) IFIP e-governance.