Cities help push U.S. to top of global rankings for open data

A new survey released last month by the World Wide Web Foundation ranks the United States fourth in the world for its open data efforts, preceded by the United Kingdom, Canada, and France. Although the U.S. slipped slightly from second place in last year’s survey, local and state governments’ push for transparency has been credited for keeping America near the top of the global rankings.

The fourth edition of the Open Data Barometer emphasizes the importance of meaningful and sustained commitment by governments to open data and the need for insuring that data policies become permanent, rather than tied to specific leaders and administrations. As the report states:

“[Unfortunately] open data initiatives are not outlasting the leaders or administrations that started them, and often remain siloed within just one government department or agency. Backsliding in Barometer scores — even among the top performers — reflects this reality.”

The report also underscores how much progress remains to be done on open data policies. In this edition of the Barometer, 1,725 datasets from 15 different sectors across 115 countries are analyzed and the authors found that “only 7 percent of the data is fully open, only one of every two datasets is machine readable and only one in four datasets has an open license.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies supports cities around the world as they work towards implementing open data policies and data-driven decision-making. What Works Cities, a Government Innovation initiative to help 100 mid-sized American cities enhance their use of data, is particularly dedicated to assisting cities with open data work, while other initiatives such as Mayors Challenge, have also supported these efforts. Learn more about the Bloomberg Philanthropies Government Innovation portfolio here.