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Open Data Best Practices in Europe

Learning from the top performing countries in terms of open data maturity from 2019

Open Data Maturity in Europe

The European Data Portal (EDP) conducts an annual benchmark assessment of the current state of open data in the European Union countries and Europe in general. The latest Open Data Maturity Report (2019) covered the Member States and the EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), assessing the countries along four dimensions:

  • Open Data Policy: development of specific policies and strategies to foster open data practice.
  • Open Data Portal: functions that enable users to interact with open data via the national portal.
  • Open Data Impact: activities to monitor and measure open data re-use and impact created.
  • Open Data Quality: measures to ensure a systematic high-level quality of data and metadata.

Analytical Report 16: Open data best practices in Europe

On May 2020, the EDP published an analytical report titled “Open data best practices in Europe”. The report provides readers with an overview of best practices implemented by top performing countries – Cyprus, France and Ireland – of the 2019 assessment. Insights for the report are gathered from in-depth interviews with representatives of the national open data teams as well as their original responses to the extensive questionnaire filled out for the 2019 Open Data Maturity assessment. At the time of writing the report, Spain was unavailable to contribute to the research.

The practices covered in the report can be transferred to other national and local contexts. This way, countries with a lower level of open data maturity can learn from top performers’ practices, insights and advice. By sharing this knowledge, access to open data can be improved, quality of open data publication safeguarded and the impact of open data increased across Europe.

Some of the key insights and recommendations described in the report are:

Open Data Policy

  • Set up a dedicated open data policy, legislation and strategy.
  • Develop an implementation plan to make the strategy actionable and responsibilities are clear.
  • Set up a network of open data liaison officers and maintain close contact with them.

Open Data Portal

  • Include features that go beyond merely enabling users to find datasets.
  • Focus on interaction between data publishers and re-users through discussion forums, dataset-specific feedback systems, and rating systems.
  • Provide showcases and examples of open data re-use cases.

Open Data Impact

  • Monitor and analyse the re-use of open data.
  • Make sure the right datasets are available at the right time, e.g., considering topics that are currently in the news and giving related datasets more prominence.
  • Interact with re-users to understand their needs via open data events.

Open Data Quality

  • Provide manuals and technical guidelines that address frequently asked questions.
  • Actively train data publishers (if suitable in your local setting).
  • Integrate all measures, guides and training possibilities in one platform on the portal.

Open Data Best Practices Webinar

On 2 June, the EDP team hosted a webinar on the open data best practices of these top performing countries. During the webinar, the primary author of the analytical report – Laura van Knippenberg – spoke with representatives from Cyprus, France, and Ireland about their activities and experiences. The speakers were:

  • Dimitris Michail – (Cyprus)
  • Mathilde Hoang – Etalab (France)
  • Rhoda Kerins – (Ireland)

In this webinar, speakers looked back at last year’s open data maturity assessment. After providing a brief update on their work in the respective national open data teams, the representatives joined in a discussion around their best practices and experiences. This provided more detailed insights and by discussing together and comparing several aspects along the different countries, other countries or interested parties are enabled learn from them and improve their own open data practices.

Thank you to our participants and guest speakers Dimitris Michail, Mathilde Hoang and Rhoda Kerins for joining the EDP’s webinar “Open data best practices in Europe: Cyprus, France and Ireland”. To learn more, read the full analytical report Open data best practices in Europe: Learning from Cyprus, France, and Ireland on the EDP.

Interested in finding out more about the top performers or how your country performed in the Open Data Maturity 2019 assessment? Visit our open data maturity dashboard and read the Open Data Maturity Report 2019!

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