How to ensure Open Data Portals are financially sustainable |
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How to ensure Open Data Portals are financially sustainable

Open Data Portals are a critical part of our data infrastructure: they connect data holders with data users, who in turn create services that citizens and businesses benefit from and rely on. The EDP report measuring the Open Data maturity of portals across Europe 2017 shows the overall maturity of portals is increasing as they develop more advanced features. Yet most do not have coherent strategies for sustainability that address each of the five aspects of how a portal functions: the governance, financing, architecture and operations that make a portal sustainable, as well as the metrics that can be used to monitor and evaluate progress.

It is vital that portals develop such approaches so that they can respond and adapt to the challenges they face. In February 2017, the EDP published a report that sets out how portals can move from setup to sustainability, with in total 23 recommendations covering all five key areas.

This second report builds on the first report and dives deeper into the subject by further investigating how to measure the re-use and impact of Open Data and how to create a sustainable funding environment. The first section focuses on challenges to measuring the performance of Open Data Portals; current approaches to measuring Open Data impact, use and access; and towards better measurement of use and impact. The second section focuses on current approaches to funding portals; understanding the costs of Open Data Portals; and alternative funding models and approaches.

Sustainability Chart

Based on surveys, interviews with portal owners around Europe and further research, it was found that although portals are becoming more Open Data mature, they do not seem to have a coherent strategy for the sustainability of their portal. In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of Open Data initiatives, it is essential for portal owners and data publishers to effectively understand and communicate the progress and impact of their initiatives.

The report provides practical recommendations in these areas based on current best practices outlined by portal owners and experts across Europe. Building on these best practices, the report lays out potential approaches championed by experts to help build a sustainable financial future for Open Data portals in Europe and beyond. Related EDP reports focus on the Future of Open Data Portals and on the Economic Benefits of Open Data.

Read the full report