The Municipality of Gävle has recently started to publish open data. Among several other datasets, Gävle is now publishing school data for both public and private schools as well as various key figures. They have also published all open data on an embedded PSI data page. We had a chat with Marie Nilsson, who works as a digital strategist at Gävle Municipality.
Hi Marie. Tell us, what are you working with?
– I work as a program manager for Gävle Municipality’s digitization project: “Digital Renewal.” This means that we run and coordinate digital initiatives that provide better services to citizens and businesses. Our focus is to develop new and smarter ways of working in order to create new services as well as optimize the services we already offer. We do this by taking advantage of the possibilities of digitalization to meet the citizens’ demands.
How come you started looking for solutions to publish open data?
– We wanted to get started right away. Think big, but start small. We thought it was best to take advantage of what others have done in the past, so that we did not have to reinvent the wheel. We simply wanted to focus our resources on the right things.
Why did EntryScape end up on the list of potential solutions?
– We did some monitoring and came across EntryScape. It seemed like a good solution and gave us distribution to national and international channels. We want to be transparent and share the data we have. We chose EntryScape because it offered an easy-to-use solution for both publishing and long-term management.
What did you appreciate the most about the implementation of EntryScape?
– It was valuable with an external expert who could share experiences from other implementation projects. We started with a workshop to get all employees on track.
– Open data has been on our agenda for a long time and once we decided to go with EntryScape, we wanted to start as soon as possible. We can see an upside already, but the number of benefits will increase when more municipalities begin to publish open data.
What advice would you give to those who are looking to make the same journey as you?
– I think a lot is about monitoring what happens around us in the world and learn from what others have done. There are various networks you can get involved in. If you work a lot with geographical data, which we have done, Geoforum Sverige, is a great place to start.
What are your plans for the future?
– We want to publish more data sets. We already have candidates for this, but have not decided on which to prioritize. We are also going to restructure to a hierarchical organization optimize our work. And we will also inform our coworkers and citizens about the new services we offer. I look forward to continuing with this mission.
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We would like to thank Marie and Gävle Municipality for sharing their journey towards better services and increased transparency, fueled by open data. We wish them good luck with their continued work.