WP 4: Design & Implement Triplestore Database

In his blog, Wilbert explains the technical work undertaken against this work-package – Doing analytics with open source linked data tools.  A brief rationale behind the work is extracted below:

Like most places, the University of Bolton keeps its data in many stores. That’s inevitable with multiple systems, but it makes getting a complete picture of courses and students difficult. We test an approach that promises to integrate all this data, and some more, quickly and cheaply.

Integrating a load of data in a specialised tool or data warehouse is not new, and many institutions have been using them for a while. What Bolton is trying in its JISC sponsored course data project is to see whether such a warehouse can be built out of Linked Data components. Using such tools promises three major advantages over existing data warehouse technology:

It expects data to be messy, and it expects it to change. As a consequence, adding new data sources, or coping with changes in data sources, or generating new reports or queries should not be a big deal. There are no schemas to break, so no major re-engineering required.

In addition, it is worth reflecting that in attempting work such as this there is a tremendous amount added bonus to the University by way of capability building beyond the specific aims of the project.  This work has drawn in a range of people (Dave, Richard, David) who are beginning to explore the possibilities of triplestore, linked data and visualisation techniques.



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