I was approached two years ago by a colleague from the Queensland Department of Education and Training (DET) to help set up a web application for GUS Gives – a charity portal that collects payments from members and provides detailed analytics for charity organisations. My role was to provide data management support and the first task on the list was creating sample data sets in order to test the report generation functions of the website.
I had done similar work when I was working at DET of rule-based generation of staff and student data sets. Using the same technique, I developed an application that generated random people/members as a CSV file (file type choice by the application developers). The reference data of first and last names, locations, phone number prefixes, salaries, etc. were from public sources – US Census Bureau, Australian Bureau of Statistics, OpenStreetMap, and Wikipedia.
Now that GUS Gives looks like it’s a non-starter, I have uploaded the source to Github. The project also contains the data requirements and the collated reference data so the application can run without further dependencies.