Models for presenting information over the internet have often been driven by their ‘shiny front ends’. The user-facing website is all important and the supporting data is somehow squeezed into this.
Thinking has moved on over recent years with a developing understanding of the importance of separating data from its presentation. If nothing else, this allows for simpler changes to the presentation layer as, for example, websites are redesigned.
We can take up this thinking in the Task Force and consider the architectures that are needed for public sector data to advance the Power of Information goals.
The following model is presented as an initial contribution to this discussion:
PRESENTATION LAYER – the public-facing front end, typically a set of web pages
ANALYSIS LAYER – any form of interpretation of the raw data, typically for summary presentation
ACCESS LAYER – all the information needed to access the data, including technical, legal and commercial aspects
DATA LAYER – the raw data sets
This sketch will be fleshed out over coming weeks into a more comprehensive model against which sources of public sector information can be tested.
This will allow us to understand and work on overcoming any barriers in the data and access layers that prevent innovation in the analysis and presentation layers.