The Linux Foundation has announced datapractices.org, a vendor-neutral community working on the first-ever template for modern data teamwork, has joined as an official Linux Foundation project.
DataPractices.org was pioneered by data.world as a “Manifesto for Data Practices” of four values and 12 principles that illustrate the most effective, ethical, and modern approach to data teamwork. As a member of the foundation, datapractices.org will expand to offer open courseware and establish a collaborative approach to defining and refining data best practices.
We talked with Patrick McGarry, head of data.world, to learn more about DataPractices.org.
LF: Can you briefly describe datapractices.org and tell us about its history?
Patrick: The Data Practices movement originated back in 2017 at The Open Data Science Leadership Summit in San Francisco. This event gathered together leaders in data science, semantics, open source, visualization, and industry to discuss the current state of the data community. We discovered that there were many similarities between the then current challenges around data, and the previous difficulties felt in software development that Agile addressed.
The goal of the Data Practices movement was to start a similar “Agile for Data” movement that could help offer direction and improved data literacy across the ecosystem. While the first step was the “Manifesto for Data Practices” the intent was always to move past that and apply the values and principles to a series of free and open courseware that could benefit anyone who was interested.
LF: Tell us about more about the datapractices.org courseware; who will use it and who do you hope will use it?
Patrick: The open courseware is designed for data practitioners and managers who would like to increase their general level of data literacy. Much of this is focused on the novice or intermediate levels. Expert practitioners are also invited to help us refine and advance this content to help the industry evolve and have a standard baseline which everyone can learn from and understand. In fact, they will be able to learn from broad community knowledge and experience around data literacy and modern data teamwork.
LF: Why did you decide to join the Linux Foundation? What benefits are you hoping to receive from your membership?
Patrick: The Linux Foundation has long been a great steward of open source and has helped to build community and enterprise traction around projects both new and established. Our hope is that as the Linux Foundation expands into the data teamwork space, we can work together to build a community to establish best practices and increase the level of data knowledge across the industry. We also hope that our collaboration will allow us to bring our relevant expertise to the industry and help data practices evolve, especially the use and practice of open data.
LF: What are the goals of the project?
Patrick: We are hoping to spread the word about the efforts and gather both consumers as well as contributors to the open courseware. Additionally, we’d like to establish this group as the defacto group of experts leading data best practices going forward.
LF: How can people get more involved?
Patrick: All of the courseware is managed through Github and can be edited by anyone through the web UI. It can also be updated and checked in via a normal git workflow. Training organizations are also invited to use this content in their training products and services to deliver this in a corporate setting. See https://datapractices.org/courseware/ for more details.