Promoting good practices on open data standards is key to scaling the impact of open data. Far too often users of open data face small but time-consuming technical hurdles that slow down progress towards open data impact. Balancing the consistency and re-usability of data with the great variation in national and regional structures, cultures and political processes requires carefully designed data standards, and common approaches to build the right levels of interoperability. With good standardisation practices, it becomes possible to innovate more rapidly, and to identify the solutions that work in one place, and build on them to apply that solution elsewhere.
For this reason, governments, citizens, civil society organisations and the private sector need to come together to identify and promote good practices on open data standards. This requires global efforts on awareness and education about standards, as well as close collaboration between jurisdictions to promote common approaches to data standardization.
The following draft actions were developed through sessions at IODC15. You are invited to share your feedback on these actions using the comments box below. A final roadmap of actions will be published in mid-2015.
Key action: Prioritise and promote good practices for open data publication
Data providers need guidance and support to prioritise the application of good practices for open data publication. Building stronger links between technical standards communities, and the producers and users of open government data, is vital to ensure that best practices put forward serve the needs of all citizens, businesses and governments wanting to use data, rather than assuming high levels of technical skill. This requires increased engagement of diverse data users in the standards development process.
Additional action: Engagement with W3C Data on the Web Practices
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have produced a number of ‘First Public Working Draft’ documents relating to practices for publishing data on the web. These include the Data on the Web Best Practices, Data Quality Vocabulary, and Data Usage Vocabulary. Public comments are invited on each of these documents, and the groups are keen to get wider input from beyond the ‘usual suspects’ taking part in data standards processes.
Additional action: Recommendations from the OGP Open Data Working Group
The OGP Open Data Working Group have produced draft research on “Identifying recommended standards and best practices for open data” which is open for comment. This research will feed into final recommendations at the 2015 OGP Summit, and will form an input into the Open Data Charter Implementation Handbook.
Action anchors are taking a lead on shaping the conversation in the run up to the conference, and facilitating the conference session. They will be blogging about the key issues to be address, and existing initiatives that respond to the challenges in this area.
- Governments need clear direction for open data action May 21, 2015 - A guest post from Steven De Costa on the need for Guidelines, Collaborations and Best Practices to accelerate open data adoption in governments. The challenge for individual agencies to develop data access methods that strike the best balance between data confidentiality, protecting privacy, maintaining data quality and releasing data that’s interpretable, relevant and actually valuable to users, […]
- Can standards take us over the tipping point and accelerate open data ecosystems? May 20, 2015 - A guest post from Yasodara Cordova, from W3C Brazil, on the Data on the Web Best Practices, and the need to link together policy and technology conversations. The activists who advocate for Open Data, and the Governments that are involved through initiatives like the Open Government Partnership, sometimes seem to be dancing out of step. Maybe […]
- Why do we struggle to standardize, and what should we prioritize? May 8, 2015 - A guest post from James McKinney of Open North sharing research into open the challenges and opportunities for data standards best practice. Open data is now on the agenda of most OGP governments and of many sub-national governments. However, its success is inconsistent: many citizens use open data for public transit through mobile apps, but many […]
Proposals for addressing this challenge will be developed over the course of IODC15, and shared here shortly afterwards.