Data sharing ecosystem without org buy-in

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Facilitator: Devin
Note Taker: Damien

Data tools

  • make it simple! keep it close/r to desktop applications
  • least common denominator tools
  • humanitarian data exchange
    • use basic naming conventions and CSVs to get pretty far

Devin (presenter)

  • goal: decide how to manage a crisis w only a spreadsheets
  • has been building software AND spreadsheets/simple sites
  • Sahana software foundation, python-based open-source software for a crisis

Ask Yourself

  • Questions + form + input format + output format = data set
  • which of these can you either simplify or standardize

What will we discuss today?

"what does the top row a spreadsheet mean?"

data merge scenarios

grassroots side of challenges, esp around getting started

Questions we have

How can we build user practices so data are

How do we create a data dictionary so ppl use the same input in the top so data flows in cleanly

Showing Toolkits

  • Data Model Analysis
    • case: we have several groups collecting data we want to aggregate
    • goal: get to and agree on a standard

Merging Spreadsheets

  • different data models; doesnt often start at the beginning
  • ex. 4 refugee groups collecting info = need to get stakeholders together
    • goal: aggregate / central repo / data standard (a model all can use)
    • goal: interoperability of data
    • create a situation where their directories and data is not being ignored
  • Goal: show people the similarities and differences in their datamodels across multiple groups
    • determine the data that is useful

Ex: Build data literacy


  • data schema
  • import template: has the correct headers, terms, input formats

Information Management

  • schema: columns
  • taxonomy: categories
  • data model
  • Field(data), Tag (horizontal), Category (hierarchical): differentiate these for users

Sharing Bulk Data

Aggregate data set w a data standard, CKAN, show a

We Looked at




setup w python config files, hits international standards

Turn a Spreadsheet into a Filterable Mappable Site

Embed "" to visualize

  • needs TWO rows at the top: title and instructional
  • connect a spreadsheet via google acccount

See a sample of a table template for an "awesome table"



creates relational database from a table you connect/input. INterface to


Spreadsheet visualization - a google spreadsheet app



  • GIS
  • Open Map Kit (Red Cross specific tool), Open Street Map,
  • CartoDB