Datopian: 2019 in review, and looking toward 2020

December 18, 2019 by Paul Walsh

2019 has been a great year at Datopian, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share with our clients, partners, and the wider community some reflections on the year past, and thoughts on 2020.

# 2019 in review

# Leadership

After a change of management in Q4 2018, with original founder Rufus Pollock returning as President and primary stakeholder, we started the year with the introduction of our new CEO, Paul Walsh, formerly Chief Product Officer at Open Knowledge International. We also rebranded from Viderum to Datopian, reflecting our new vision for the company and the potential of open source data management and data engineering.

# Team

We started the year with 14 people on the team. We are finishing the year with a team of 35 people! Datopian is a remote company, and our team are situated right across the globe. It has been an amazing experience bringing in new people to serve our clients old and new, getting to know people for a range of different cultures (and timezones).

# Partners

We are committed to developing strong partnerships across the globe, and, via our partnerships, doing effective and impactful work for our clients. In 2019, we have worked with our US partner, Civic Actions, on large and important projects for the US government, and have found a team of like-minded individuals with an excellent organizational culture and commitment to positive change.

# Clients

Datopian is a data management services company, and doing amazing work for and with our clients is our primary objective. In 2019 we have continued to serve existing clients such as Open Data Denmark, Open Data Northern Ireland, and the Scottish Cities, as well as many others, with managed hosting solutions, custom CKAN development, and technical support.

Additionally, we have added a number of new clients to our roster, most notably clients from the enterprise looking to use CKAN and our data engineering services to address internal data management use cases. This is a very exciting development, and we welcome the opportunity to work with clients in sectors as diverse as pharmaceuticals and energy.


A major development in the CKAN community in 2019 was the announcement of co-stewardship of the project going forward, under Datopian and Link Digital. Our work as co-stewards is in collaboration with the Open Knowledge Foundation, and both Paul Walsh, Datopian CEO, and Steven De Costa, Executive Director at Link Digital, are personally involved in helping to steer the CKAN project forward. Our current focus is on the migration of CKAN to support Python 3, and on developing initiatives for more government involvement in the CKAN project. We look forward to what 2020 brings for CKAN the project, and for our partnership as co-stewards.

# Frictionless Data

In December we announced co-stewardship of the Frictionless Data project with the Open Knowledge Foundation. Frictionless Data is a project that several of the senior team at Datopian have been involved in for a number of years, and we are delighted to continue working on it with increased enthusiasm.

# Looking toward 2020

2019 has exceeded our expectations in so many ways, and we are looking forward to continuing our journey and sharpening our vision in 2020. We are kicking off the year with new and existing clients across government and the enterprise, continuing to co-design best-of-breed data management solutions using CKAN and Frictionless Data.

Additionally, we are seeing increased demand for data engineering services in support of the cataloging and inventory-based solutions we have traditionally been doing with CKAN. This is an exciting development for us, as the narrative around data matures towards one where curation, governance, quality and interoperability are central themes. This is an area that we have thought about deeply as a company, and we plan to be much more active in sharing our thoughts, technical designs and experiences in this space via our blog.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of our journey in 2019, and we look forward to working and interacting with you all in 2020.

The Datopian Team

# P.S - We are hiring!

We are still growing and hiring in a range of roles. If you are interested in working for a remote organisation with an open culture then Datopian is the right place for you! Send us your CV to [email protected].