West Midlands Open Data User Group

West Midlands Open Data User Group promotes the release and use of open data.


Membership is intended for open data publishers and users such as


public service providers from government

public service providers from social enterprises and the voluntary sector

public service providers from the private sector

public service users

academic researchers

independent researchers

data journalists

technology start-up enterprises

IT service providers

Web developers

open geo and Open Street Map contributors

transport providers

urban designers

open data campaigners

open knowledge campaigners


How will the open data group promote the release and use of open data?

– Showing by example, through hack days which use open data.

– Campaigning for organisations to adopt open data policies

– Monitoring implementation: recognising achievement, being critical of failure.

– Supporting open access publication of scientific, social and economic data

– Supporting open access research

– Offering practical assistance to organisations willing to release data sets with an open licence.

– Developing methods for evaluating the costs and benefits of open data.


The organisation has the minimum features needed to get things done. It is an Unincorporated Association, a legal entity which can have a bank account, formed using the online service One Click Orgs. Online participatory voting is built in, but since our focus is regional it is not difficult to also have a meeting, discuss our objectives and find a consensus, then record any major decisions with a vote.


Some things we can do. We can enter into contracts with public bodies. We may choose to bid for funding as a group.  Individuals and companies affiliated with the open data user group may offer commercial services and/or bid for funding independently. The group may publish studies and opinion about open data policy and practice.


Starting with personal invitations to open data developers and users we will build a group who initiate events in the region and establish working relationships across organisations and sectors. That’s how we will get datasets released and used.


We are having a founders’ meeting on Thursday 21st June to agree the initial objectives and scope of the project. It will be in the early evening in Birmingham, venue tbc.


Meanwhile, have a look at Open Data Manchester and Open Data Sheffield as examples of regional groups. We can learn from their experience. We might meet up with them soon. See also

the Manchester Data Store 

the London Data Store 

and data.gov.uk


* note: this post is a draft proposal and being revised by members.

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