Examples of how open data can improve public sector performance
An official got in touch with me earlier this week to ask for help explaining how open data can make government more efficient. I naturally turned to twitter for inspiration and had a flood of useful suggestions. Rather than losing all the great ideas, I’ve brought them together here.
This is something that a number of people have already done — often far more thoroughly than I have here — but hopefully this list includes some helpful new suggestions. Thanks to all who responded.
- In 2015, GovLab carried out a more thorough exercise than this one looking for examples of open data impact. (Suggested by Carlos Iglesias).
- Indeed, GovLab have their own collection of stories of open data impact, which you can sort by sector, impact type (e.g. improving government or empowering citizens) or country. (Suggest by GovLab).
- Earlier this year, Hendrik Grothuis pulled together another list of open data impact stories. (Suggested Nick Halliday).
- An analytical look at six stories of open data impact in the UK was written by Becky Hogge for the Omidyar Network. It includes the campaign around beneficial ownership, which I helped to lead. (Suggested by Gavin Freeguard).
- The EU Data Portal includes a wealth of reports and briefings in the impact on government of open data. (Suggested by Hendrik Grothuis).
- The Open Data Barometer includes references to dozens of impact stories in its raw data. (Suggested by Carlos Inglesias).
- The Open Data Impact Map is a public database of organizations that use open data from around the world. (Suggested by Carlos Inglesias).
- The Open Governance Research Exchange, is a hub for quantitative and qualitative research on innovations in governance, and it includes a significant section on open. (Suggested by Carlos Inglesias).
- Apolitical have published a series of articles on how to use data to improve government, including here, here and here. (Suggested by Anna Scott).
- There is a good recent example of using open data on food hygiene to find companies that weren’t paying their property taxes in Northern Ireland. (Suggested by Hendrik Grothuis).
- The Open Data Institute has launched a project to find out how to improve public services with data. Find out more here. (Suggested by Ed Parkes).
New additions after publication:
- Charles Arthur pointed out that the U.S. government’s release of GPS is the “ur-government-open-data of them all”. GPS is government-funded, open specification and anyone can build equipment which picks it up. GovLab have a detailed case study of the impact of it here.
Something pointed out by Ed Parkes is that while many of the above examples are either (a) how data has had an impact on public services or b) open data’s economic impact, there is less on open data’s impact on public services.
I’m sure this conversation will continue. Feel free to add more examples in the comments section or get in touch and I’ll add them to the list.