Member States collaborate and achieve new heights in open data
European Member States collaborate and achieve new heights in open data
Today, the European Data Portal (EDP) publishes its sixth annual benchmark study: “Open Data Maturity 2020 Report”, assessing the level of open data maturity across Europe. The report presents the progress achieved by European countries in the promotion of open data publication and re-use, and the different priorities they have set to enable this. The assessment measures maturity against four dimensions: policy, impact, portal, and quality.
The general 2020 findings demonstrate that Europe is well on track to meet the goals set regarding open data and publishing data for re-use. Overall, European countries show great improvement in terms of maturity as this years’ scores have increased across all dimensions. This general finding aside, the report identifies three major trends:
- The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the genuine need for data
The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of systematically collecting and making data available to the public once again as countries – in their efforts to respond to the crisis at hand – started publishing related data and developed initiatives and dashboards to make the figures easier to grasp.
- To ensure interoperability the focus shifts from quantity to quality
As open data propositions of the European countries develop further, their focus moves from quantity to quality. That is, rather than having an abundance of information available, attention goes towards better quality of data. Furthermore, quality is not seen in isolation, but as an enabler to interoperability. The ability to cooperate within and between countries is facilitated by making it easy for computer systems to exchange data. This new focus enables re-users to extract value from data and create novel products and services to realise the benefits.
- To harness the impact created, re-use grows more important than publishing
Generating positive societal and economic impact through publishing data has always been the key objective of the multi-year effort across Europe. Assessing impact is a complex task and there still is no consensus on how to best do it. Many European countries are successfully engaging with communities of re-users to understand and capture the extent to which open data is re-used and how value is created. The European Commission plans to build on that by developing a shared impact framework in the next years.
Clustering the countries based on their maturity score
The report recognises four categories of performers: trend-setters, fast-trackers, followers, and beginners. The figure below shows how each country scores and to which category it belongs.
Figure 1: The 2020 Open Data Maturity clustering of the participating countries
This year, most countries show a great increase in their maturity levels, resulting in a concentration of countries in the higher end of the spectrum. The trend-setter cluster consists of seven countries. Ireland, Spain, and France have kept their trend-setter position, but the group now also includes Denmark, Estonia, Poland, and Austria. The fast-tracker group consists of thirteen countries and is the largest group of the four clusters.
Laura van Knippenberg, lead researcher and author of the report states on these results that: “The clear peak in open data maturity performance highlights the efforts of European countries towards more citizen-centric approaches in their open data practices and by engaging with communities of open data re-users, Europe develops a better understanding of the significant impact that can be achieved.”
The countries covered by this assessment include:
- The 27 European Union’s Member States (EU27);
- The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland;
- For the first time, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine; and
- The United Kingdom (UK), following their withdrawal from the European Union.
Gianfranco Cecconi, director at Capgemini Invent and project lead summarises this year’s results nicely: “After many years dedicated to develop open data in Europe, it is with great satisfaction that we observe the Member States achieve such heights, also to respond timely to the COVID-19 emergency, however, there is still plenty to do. The success of the most performing countries just motivates all of us to do more and better.”
For more information about open data maturity across Europe, explore the EDP’s Open Data Maturity Dashboard. Interested in more examples on open data? Explore the European Data Portal’s (EDP) news archive and featured highlight section. Aware of open data examples or stories? Share them with us via mail, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to stay up to date!