The Data Commons gathers information and creates tools that make it easy for members to access each others' data, and broadcast information to the public. What this means for worker cooperatives and developers across North America is easy access to information that has been absent in the past - the ability to know just who and where other cooperatives are.
By Jamie Campbell
To help keep information consistent across organizations, the Data Commons makes use of an in-house tool called Coopy, specializing in data merging. To facilitate broad use of the data, users have a variety of options including embedding search results in their own applications; in their own websites; using the data commons directory website http://find.coop/ or a combination of these options.
In addition to data sharing, the Data Commons also plans to facilitate email list opt-in for participating organizations (for instance, if a member of CWCF wants to be kept up to date with what’s going on in the National Cooperative Business Association sphere), as well as making available a marketplace that enables the directory to provide direct access to procuring from members. Different data has different efficacy and exposure. Members have complete flexibility in this area. Members can choose a subset of information to make available to the public, via sites such as http://find.coop/ (and potentially the member’s own site).
Data Commons operations to date are sustained by membership dues, grants, and volunteer efforts from both the board and technically proficient volunteers. Since inception, Data Commons’ membership has grown from 7 founding members to 21 current members.
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037