Guest post from Mor Rubinstein
Mor Rubinstein is the community coordinator and the research lead of the Global Open Data Index, a civil society audit of open data publishing, at Open Knowledge. She is also a hacktivist at The Public Knowledge Workshop, an Israeli NGO that builds applications for social change using open data. She holds an MSc in Social Science of the Internet from the Oxford Internet Institute where she is still doing some occasional research such as the data4policy project.
For some people, the word “measurement” can trigger scary thoughts. It can involve numbers, rankings, and complicated formulas. It involves looking into data that we sometimes do not want face, just like looking at the balance of your bank account at the end of the month before payment day – it may not always be as positive as we think. So why do we want to look at the data about open data in the face? What are we trying to get out of it?
The answer is simple, we try to see what our action did, how did we perform, and hopefully to learn from it how we can get better. It requires a lot of work, but it is an investment for our future work. The question then should not be why we measure our open data efforts, but even simpler than that – what do we want to measure? How can we measure effectively so we can work better in the future?
In the last International Open Data Conference (IODC) that took place in May 2015, we set up an open data measurement track. We tried in our workshop to tackle these four subjects:
- develop an open data assessment roadmap;
- refine the open data common assessment framework;
- grow the network of researchers; and
- develop domain specific assessments: starting with national statistics.
In order to start our first steps in creating a measurement roadmap, we need to understand what we want to measure and how. Great initiatives such as the Open Data Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals are looking at open data as a tool to measure and solve big policy issues. Therefore, it is a key to understand what open data we have, what we need in terms of quality and quantity, and how we can use it. We need to understand what we need to survey and examine so we can work better with this open data.
Now, it is a good moment to stop and assess what we are doing. In short – assessing the assessment. Are we assessing and measuring the right things when it comes to open data? What are the needs when it comes to community and where are our blind spots? Looking at these questions will help us to have a better understanding on measurements, and how to go forward. In the OGP summit next week, we will open these questions to you, the community. We hope that by gathering answers about these needs we can better map our the road to IODC 2016 in Madrid, Spain.
If you are interested in those topics and you are not afraid to look at the data in the eyes, come and join us to our workshop at the OGP conference on Wednesday October 28 at 12:30pm. The workshop that will be facilitated by Carlos Iglesias (The Open Data Barometer, Web Foundation), Barbara Ubaldi (OECD), and myself. We will explore the topics above and will try to understand what to we really want to measure. Come and join us!