Recipe for Civic Success: A Speed Data-ing Event

September 28, 2015 12:00 pm PST | Data as a Service, Recipes for Civic Success

Speed Data‐ing, a concept created by Open Data Nation and born out of speed‐dating as a way to match single people, provides a structured environment for those who publish and consume data to exchange knowledge about the open data they would like to see put to good use.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) organized its first Speed Data-ing this month with the help of Open Data Nation in order to promote the internal use of Numbers for Development, its newly launched open data portal.


  • Audience of 20 participants including data authors, users, and communicators
  • Up to 10 on-site librarians that can instruct how to upload to a data portal
  • An infographic that distills the process and requirements for publishing data
  • An event space large enough to allow multiple conversations to occur at one time and intimate enough to mimic a coffee house setting


  1. Identify goals and measurable outcomes for a Speed Data-ing event, such as increasing interactions between data users, communicators, and librarians.
  2. Develop a communications strategy to reach your target audience. Communications tactics may include: extending invitations via email or personal conversation, developing conversation guides for participants to use during the event, and distributing a post-event questionnaire to help analyze your impact.
  3. Layout an event space to facilitate one-to-one conversations and provide participants with directions to the location of each of their Speed Data-ing conversations.
  4. Host an event, guided by an emcee who can explain the speed data-ing format and direct participants to switch between conversations.
  5. Analyze your impact via a survey and plan for next steps to continue engaging participants in further trainings and events.


  • Speed Data-ing familiarized IDB personnel with the IDB open data portal and the process for publishing new data. Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of participants reported that Speed Data-ing clarified doubts they had about publishing open data.
  • During Speed Data-ing, participants got to know those who use open data in their work, shared information across departmental silos, and exposed opportunities for collaboration. Nearly all participants (86 percent) reported that Speed Data-ing helped them meet those across the Bank with similar challenges in publishing data.
  • Organizers gained information about how participants would like to build a community of practice around open data, such as future events and developing data stories.

You can learn more about hosting speed data-ing events by checking out our how-to guide.


Ready for More? Learn how to run a  Datapalooza with our How-to Guide!


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