From Laura to Lucy

October 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

In this post, Laura says farewell to her formal role with the School of Data – and welcomes Lucy Chambers, new Project Coordinator Extraordinare.

As some of you may already have heard, my time at the Open Knowledge Foundation is coming to an end. After an amazing year, I am now moving on to take up a position working on the EU Environment Portfolio in DEFRA’s European Strategy and Engagement Team. This is a fantastic opportunity and I’m very excited, but I know how much I’m going to miss devoting my days (and some of my nights!) to the School of Data.

Two things make it all better. Firstly – I have a feeling that the School of Data and the Open Knowledge Foundation aren’t the kind of places that you ever really leave. Secondly – I’m handing over to Lucy Chambers, who is incredibly awesome.

Lucy (right) and I in India for an OpenSpending Workshop and the first ever School of Data workshop.

Lucy has been working at the Open Knowledge Foundation for the past eighteen months on a variety of projects, including OpenSpending, the Data Journalism Handbook and several community initiatives particularly surrounding Open Government Data. Throughout all of this, she has gathered a lot of relevant experience helping NGOs, journalists and governments to work with data – and has often had to crack-out her own data wrangling skills to tame unruly data beasts. A particular favourite of Lucy’s is “Tech Translation” – i.e. converting ‘geek speak’ to human, something she hopes to get the chance to put into action working with the School of Data team.

Many of you will have come across Lucy already at Open Knowledge Foundation events, on our recent tour of India, or around and about in the open data world. If you haven’t yet met her, you’ve probably got an email from her (see below). But if not, then be sure to say hi – she’s amazing and you won’t regret it :)

Data Wrangling Advice: Note Lucy’s excellent choice of the ‘Pie-Chart Diagram’ for simple percentage data. Great work Lucy. But warning: Lucy may want to check her underlying data for accuracy. Have you really emailed 90% of the world, Lucy? Or just 90% of the people you have ever met, read about or seen on TV…? – ed.

I’m going to be gradually stepping back whilst Lucy takes over, and look forward to joining the ranks of School of Data volunteers in the weeks to come. I know the School will flourish, and can’t wait to watch the first cohort develop!

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