West Midlands Open Data Forum

The West Midlands Open Data Forum is an idea that has been initiated by Digital Birmingham. It has a mission

“To promote the release, re-use and integration of open data to benefit communities, businesses and public services in the West Midlands area.”

I was asked to join its steering group a few months ago and have attended three of its meetings so far. Here we have mostly been discussing the Terms of Reference for the group, commenting upon proposals for a Birmingham Open Data Platform and planning how the current steering group will support the new forum to host quarterly events that “bring together developer, activist, public authority, university, third sector and business communities over open data”

openDataWordlePhoto Credit: suzannelong via Compfight cc

A few of us attended a meeting with Birmingham City Council last week and have agreed to work with them on establishing a process by which they will release data onto their proposed open data platform. We will be using geographic and school admissions data as practical examples. The first is very wide in nature, whereas the admissions one will be a precisely defined query.

We’ve also linked up with Birmingham Science City who have recently started their own piece of work around open data. This means that the steering group now consists of:

Ardavan Amini (Birmingham City University)
Gavin Broughton (Data Analyst)
Don Dhaliwal (The BIP)
Susannah Goh (Birmingham Science City)
Andrew McKenzie (Open Mercia)
Chris?Price (Digiconsultancy Ltd)
Heike Schuster-James (Digital Birmingham)
Simon Whitehouse (Data Unlocked)

As part of a commitment to being open the steering group will be publishing its minutes on a website to be released into the wild in the near future. In the meantime, I’ve published the minutes of October’s meeting below.


  1. wmodf isnt catchy. the name doesnt have to have an exact geog reference – this isnt a public service organisation but it should include Brum/Solihull, Black Country and Cov/Warks
    Great you are sprading the word. It needs to link to other people who are interested

  2. Hi Chris – I did have a suggestion that we call it Midlands Open Data Society, which would make us MODS. Which would at least give us the advantage of a ready made chant. If that could be considered an advantage.

    It would also include the wider geographic area.

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