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Efficient collaboration at Open Data Day – Wellington

I was happy to participate in the Open Data Day event organised by Open Data NZ, GovHack and data.govt.nz.This open day was part of an annual international event held in many countries across the globe, with the aim to promote awareness and use of open data.

About 40 passionate professionals from governmental organisations, research centres and private sector joined the event in the National Library on 4th March.

The Team

Our team was “Decision Distillers” and included myself (Intergen), Anand  Kannan and Michael Riealy (WalkerScott) and Kay Jones (GovHack /HackMiramar). We worked to refine project ideas, clarify the approach, define the scope and feasibility and delivered in agile mode the product of efficient collaboration in time (we had just six hours!). At the end we presented the working Proof Of Concept to the forum.

Decision Distillers tema at Open Data Day Wellington

Our small team elaborated on the topic of decision for the land use based on the user profile and open data sources feeds. The Proof Of Concept was based on samples from QV dynamic data. It may be extended for Traffic intersection, Quality of Air, Water and Economical benefits comparison.

Project summary


(Groups that would be interested)

People living or working in any area, residents, business people, applicants for resource consents, local and regional authorities.


(Main focus)

Decision and information tool. Decision Distiller will let users identify what matters to them in local land use projects, and what they need to know to decide if the proposal is a good thing or not. Enables people to weigh up costs and benefits from their perspectives.


(Reasoning for decision acceleration)

Resource consent applications can be costly and time consuming. If people had better data the decision making could be much easier.



Online tool linking profile filter to datasets for different factors of interest, e.g. impact on land Value, traffic risks, and environmental factors.


The technical side

We used a staging SQL database with the processing engine applying profile information and an Open Data Source feed used to populate records in the database. We then used Microsoft Power BI and business intelligence rules to create queries and output a visual presentation.

Decision Distiller technology

Examples of results and trend in Power BI for a specific profile are shown below:

Open Data Day Wellington - Microsoft Power BI

Decision Distiller tag cloud - Open Data Day Wellington

For me this mini-project was evidence that Open Data can provide the basis for research projects, while solutions can be easily built for public and private sectors based on this same data. It was a sound indication that agile collaboration can achieve rapid results. (Disclaimer: we are currently working with our friends BI specialists shoulder to shoulder, as both Intergen and WalkerScott are jointly engaged in a large-scale project).

Andrew Sknar and Anand Kannan.

Posted by: Andrew Sknar, Practice Lead, Business Applications – Business Central | 10 March 2017

Tags: Open Source, Open Data

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