1 year ago

European Commission Project team DISCLAIMER


eport was reviewed and

eport was reviewed and contributed to by the team that have developed and manage the European Data Portal. The report finds that a sustainable Open Data portal is one that continues to respond to core challenges and has the governance, finance, architecture and operational models to do so. It also uses metrics effectively to drive improvements in data quality and usefulness, and attempts to measure the impact from Open Data re-use as part of a support base for continued funding. The report finds that, whilst portal owners have taken some measures or made ad hoc upgrades to their portals, none have developed models or approaches to sustainability which encompassed all of these areas. Some of the recommendations under each section may seem obvious. They have been included because they may not otherwise feature in development plans and proposals at the outset of an Open Data initiative. They are recommendations for any portal owner and any organisation looking to invest in building an Open Data portal. Ultimately, this report aims to create the conditions for continued investment in Open Data portals so they are fit for purpose, now and in future. It is likely that the way in which we can search for data on the web will continue to become more sophisticated and therefore affect how we use data portals. Throughout each section, openness – open collaboration, open source and open standards – emerges as key to ensuring Open Data portals are flexible enough to adapt in this rapidly evolving landscape. Recommendations This report makes recommendations for Open Data portal owners under five key areas based on interviews, secondary research and practical experience. Governance Have a business plan and clear governance structure in place Bring publishers and data users together to address specific challenges, using Open Data from the portal Build responsiveness to government priority changes into your governance structure Create hard levers to set and enforce data quality and metadata standards, and pursue data updates from publishers Create a non-ministerial leadership role to champion data publication and respond to issues Finance Be open about your funding strategy, so that people publishing and accessing data from the portal can identify future needs, use cases and potential funding shortfalls To maximise scope for portal improvements, and reduce the impact of funding cuts, ensure your priorities (training, support for publishers, user engagement) align with those of your funding source(s) 8

Ensure that your own role as portal owner includes responsibility for setting funding strategies and budgets Perform, commission or identify research into the impact of your portal’s current or potential activities, to develop and support a business case for future funding. Architecture Select open source software solutions, and solutions that offer archiving/downloading options for all data published via the portal Contribute to the development of standard APIs, that could be used across all Open Data platforms, for sharing, summarising and presenting data Build links to data held in other portals into yours, where they could be relevant for your local users Even if not responsible for the publication and maintenance of data, research your user needs and their preferred data formats to drive data improvements Build upon recognised standards to foster interoperability and comparability of metadata across Europe Operations: Manage publication operations to support different types of publishers from small- to largescale, enabling automation where possible Manage technical operations to include effective monitoring and reporting systems for inaccessible data, preferably through publicly accessible lists for users to track progress On-board new end-users, publishers and monitors with effective User Experience design, clear publication processes, feedback loops and training Automate functions to ensure seamless integration of a diversity of data sources, increase user friendliness and limit overheads for stakeholders Capture and share lessons learned, and be open to best practices and standards developed by other portal operators Metrics Choose metrics that help to benchmark data publisher performance, but do not rely on one metric e.g. quantity. Combine quantity metrics with data quality and engagement measures Choose metrics that help potential data users find data that is suitable for them to use. Evaluate whether the metrics chosen are meaningful or potentially misleading In measuring quality of Open Data, take into account metadata and contextual information to increase user understanding and engagement Overcome challenges in automating metrics by adopting standard language and terminology, publishing processes and metrics for data quality and reuse 9

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