Open data's growing role: Insights from the OECD 2023 OURdata Index
Open data is transforming the way we see and interact with the world, especially when it comes to making important decisions. The OECD's 2023 Open Useful and Re-usable data (OURdata) Index offers a comprehensive analysis of open data policies across 40 countries. With an emphasis on three pillars—data availability, data accessibility, and government support for data re-use—the report underscores the increasing significance of open data in driving innovation, democratic engagement, and policymaking.
The Index, rooted in extensive data collection throughout 2022, underscores the vital role open data plays in addressing societal challenges – from public health crises to environmental threats. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, highlighted the need for governments to ensure access to timely, relevant, and high-quality data to foster resilience and facilitate a comprehensive whole-of-society response. The report also celebrates the achievements of countries like France and Korea, which ensure data is not only available, but also accessible and re-usable.
However, the report also sheds light on areas where there is room for growth. It reveals a mere 48% of high-value datasets are openly available. Moreover, high-value datasets related to government finances and public accountability are rarely available. The Index encourages nations to strengthen efforts in monitoring open data impacts and enhance government support for data re-use, guaranteeing the full realization of the benefits of open data projects.
The Index serves as a call to action for the future, focusing on the transformational potential of open data and advocating for consistent effort. It serves as a reminder that open data is still in its early stages of development and that, in our pursuit of a more democratic and informed digital society, its full potential is still unrealised.