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The Timeliness of Open Data Portals

University of Latvia uses pandemic data to assess one of open data portal’s key success factors

One of the key success factors, and primary principles of an open data portal, is that the data is timely. If a portal does not provide timely data, users are less likely to trust the data, or to look for other datasets on the portal.  

A recent publication by the Faculty of Computing of the University of Latvia has assessed how timely data on open government data (OGD) portals is. Assessing this is typically an arduous task. However, the abundance of COVID-19 datasets that emerged over the course of 2020 has provided ample opportunity for this. Researchers were able to study the length of the data path from the data holder to the OGD portal by comparing the timeliness of COVID-19 related data sets to the first case observed in a country.

The results of their assessment show that, out of the 52 national open data portals assessed, 32 provide COVID-19 related open data. Austria, France, Switzerland, and the United States were the only four countries that published data in the first two weeks (i.e. after the first report of COVID-19 in the country). Five countries (Estonia, Colombia, Latvia, Cyprus, and Ireland) have provided data within the first month, and another 14 have done so in more than a month. There are several countries that have provided either data that is outside the scope of the study, or have not provided data at all. This is the case even for ambitious countries like Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, and Italy. The study examines countries across the globe, but find the best results for Europe in Austria, France, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia, and Cyprus.

This study demonstrates how quickly OGD portals have reacted to the pandemic and shows the readiness/ability of portals to respond to emergencies in general by opening and updating data.

Curious for more findings? Read the full article.

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