Launch of digital Dashboard to focus on open data

A publicly backed project to gather and interpret vast amounts of digital information is launching a new software tool to help people in Leeds use the data in creative and inspiring ways.

The Leeds Dashboard, created by Hebe Media for the Leeds Data Mill, provides data visualisation in an easy to understand format.

It will be available on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

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Mark Barrett, founder of the Data Mill, aims to make public vast amounts of information to help change the way that people work, live and play in cities. He won £100,000 in funding from the Open Data User Group, which is backed by the Cabinet Office.

Heather Savory, chairwoman of the ODUG, is visiting Leeds tonight to speak at an open data event. She is expected to talk about Government plans is incentivise local authorities to publish open data.

Leeds appears to be leading the way on this front with the local authority publishing more open data sets than any other council in the country.

The Data Mill has 81 sets of data, largely from Leeds City Council. It also has persuaded Yorkshire Water and Northern Powergrid to share data.

The Government’s Technology Strategy Board is providing an additional £750,000 in public funding to develop the Leeds Data Mill and roll-out the concept to other cities in Britain.

Mr Barrett is using this money to build up a team, including a data hunter – a person to gather data – as well as scientists to analyse the data, graphic designers to create visual representations of the data and an event manager.

Mr Barrett will launch a similar centre in York and hopes to expand into other Yorkshire cities.

He will launch the Leeds Dashboard at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds tonight.