Festive launch ODISSEI open data platform

/ Author: Jaap van Sandijk/Miriam van der Sangen
Wetenschappelijk directeur Pearl Dykstra (EUR), Pieter Hooimeijer (NWO-MaGW) en Huib van de Stadt.
On 27 October 2016, a celebratory gathering at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht marked the launch of a new open data platform for humanities and social sciences, ODISSEI. The symbolic opening – the unveiling of the name – was conducted by scientific director prof. Pearl Dykstra (EUR) together with Pieter Hooimeijer of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Social Sciences Division (NWO-MaGW) and Huib van de Stadt, Senior Director of Socio-economic and Spatial Statistics at Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
While the initiative for the data platform came from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the person in charge will be Pearl Dykstra, Professor of Empirical Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). She explains enthusiastically: ‘With ODISSEI, we will realise an infrastructure that allows us to share more data. This makes it easier not only to make data available and share them, but also to analyse and combine them. Furthermore, this infrastructure will enable us to realise new data collections.’ 

According to Dykstra, ODISSEI – an NWO project – features a concentration of knowledge, experience and opportunities which is to boost social sciences considerably. She considers it an exciting form of cooperation. ‘Various organisations which own large and long-term data collections, such as CBS, are working together here. I think it is a nice change that they are working more and more in partnership.’ The new data platform joins forces from Dutch universities, universities of applied science, as well as NWO, CBS, DANS, various levels of government and businesses. 

Dykstra warmly welcomes CBS’ participation. ‘CBS has unique opportunities which other researchers do not have. Through CBS, we are gaining access to great sample surveys and register data. Aside from that, CBS offers expert knowledge on data collecting, and this knowledge is at a very high level. Think of topics such as: how to conduct a sample survey? How to correct for missing information? Knowledge which we will be happy to use.’ Professor Dykstra looks upon CBS’ increasing collaboration with scientific organisations as a positive development. ‘It is appropriate that CBS says: our data can also be used in scientific research.’