Tonight Panorama will give weight to that by showing that regulator data is sometimes a long way from current reality, whereas (as many a hotelier knows from TripAdvisor) data collected from the fickle public can mount up very quickly if something is wrong.
Open data is very important to me and I believe that transparency and openness in the long term increases performance and eventually open organisations will always benefit over those who hide their murky ill-doings. I also like playing with open data and this weekend I took part in Rewired State's National Hack the Government Day at the GDS offices in London. My hack (involving Met Office data) even won a prize, but my cup failed to completely run over as I never got to shake the hand of Mike Bracken who was meant to award the prizes (he didn't turn up).
Our comparison web site BetterCareGuide.org has a commitment to keeping its data open, but actually collecting data about social care providers is non trivial because:
- people don't sample as many social care providers as they might restaurants or hotels
- many of the people who do have experience of using providers don't have access to the internet or a computer