Ireland has been highlighted as an Open Data Leader in Europe, ranking 3rd in a European Open Data Maturity Study on Open Data readiness, maturity, impact and policy. An impressive outcome considering that the Irish National Open Data Portal is relatively new. Officially launched in 2014 by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, data.gov.ie has grown from 450 datasets to over 5,500 datasets, and has ~7,500 monthly visitors.
Derilinx has supported data.gov.ie since its launch, and in that time, we have seen more and more Public-Sector Bodies engage with the Open Data Initiative. Originally, the focus of the Initiative was on making data available – Raw Data Now – release the data quickly, even if it is a bit messy. Users were mainly categorised as citizens, looking for more information about public sector services, or developers, building apps on top of datasets.
As Open Data Initiatives mature, so too does the way that Open Data is being used and can have an impact. Today, we see that there are multiple beneficiaries of Open Data release; from individuals using Open Data as a core element of their work (e.g. citizens, journalists, students), to research institutions and civil-society organisations that want to carry out and give context to studies; and from SMEs that are incorporating Open Data as a key ingredient in their business models, to MNCs that are utilising Open Data in their analysis and decision-making.
Open Data Impact is one of the most important aspects of an Open Data ecosystem, but often one of the biggest unknowns. That is why Derilinx decided to launch the Open Data Impact Series – to promote awareness, adoption and use of Open Data in different sectors, and support the publication of high-quality Open Data. Our inaugural session ‘ Creating Business Opportunities with Open Data’ took place on 26th Sept 2017 and focused on how Open Data is a valuable resource for businesses, which can be used to build new applications, enhance existing products or provide additional context for decision making. You can read the outcomes of our event here.
At ODCamp 5, we want to continue the discussion, picking up on a number of points that were highlighted at the #OpenDataImpact event, namely:
Demand-driven Open Data
On the one hand, we all want to get our hands on as much Open Data as possible asap. On the other, putting in place automated publication processes for up-to-date, high-quality datasets takes time and effort. Should the publication of certain datasets be prioritised by Public Bodies, and if so, how can this prioritisation take place?
How to measure Open Data Impact
Everyone is interested in knowing the impact of Open Data reuse. However, because access to Open Data is anonymous, how can we identify and measure the direct and indirect outcomes of Open Data publication?
Motivating Public Bodies to systemise Open Data publication
While publishing datasets one at a time is good start for Open Data publishing, how can Public Bodies be encouraged to embed Open Data publication into their overall data management strategy, so that they are truly Open by Default.
Standardisation of Open Data across Public Bodies
Different organisations collect, manage and process a wide variety of datasets, which can then be published as Open Data. The value of Open Data is often derived when it is consumed with data from different sources. However, such integration requires that data is interoperable; otherwise a large amount of effort is spent on data cleaning. How can the use of standards be promoted to facilitate data interoperability?
As a regular participant at ODCamps, Derilinx is delighted to sponsor ODCamp5 in Belfast!