Measuring open data

Open Data Charter
Published in
3 min readOct 11, 2017


A look at the four tools for assessing open data publication

Updated in December 2017 to include the Open Data Maturity in Europe index

Robert Palmer

Over the last decade more and more governments have opened up the data that they hold so that it can be used to improve services, spur economic growth and hold officials to account. Several tools have been developed in order to measure how well governments are doing. These tools have a number of objectives including highlighting implementation gaps and providing a way to hold officials to account.

Each tool has a different approach, methodology and coverage. However, most of the main open data measurement tools are moving towards using the Open Data Charter principles as the starting point for their analysis. This briefing summarises the main open data measurement tools.

The Charter’s network is currently working on a project to better understand which Charter commitments are measurable and which are not. We also want to understand where the measurement gaps are. Get in touch with us if you’re interested in taking part by emailing info [at]

The chart below shows the key features of the five main tools measuring how well national governments are sharing open data. At the moment there are limited tools assessing the quality of data at the subnational level e.g. states, provinces and cities.

The four key open data indexes. Source:

The following tools include an assessment of open data as part of a broader survey at open government:

  • UN E-Government Survey: The study includes questions on open data. It covers all 193 UN countries and is based on a survey completed by governments.
  • Open Government Partnership Independent Review Mechanism (OGP IRM): The OGP IRM is an independent review of the commitments that governments have made as part of their OGP National Action Plans, a number of which include open data activities.

The following are assessment tools that individual governments, or organisations can use to measure their progress:

  • Open Data Readiness Assessment tool (ODRA): Developed by the World Bank, this tool can be used to carry out an assessment of how ready a government or individual agency is to implement an open data initiative.
  • Open Data Certificate: A free online tool developed by the Open Data Institute to assess and recognise the sustainable publication of quality open data. It assess the legal, practical, technical and social aspects of publishing open data using best practice guidance.
  • Open Data Maturity Model: A framework by the Open Data Institute to assess how well an organisation publishes and consumes open data, and identifies actions for improvement.
  • 5 stars of linked open data: Developed by Tim Berners-Lee, this assesses how easy it is to link a specific dataset to other datasets.
  • Periodic Table of Open Data’s Impact Factors: Based on the existing literature and case studies, GovLab developed an approach outlining the enabling conditions and disabling factors that often determine the impact of open data initiatives.

This blog was based on original research by Carlos Iglesias of the Web Foundation. Thanks to input from members of the Charter’s Measurement and Accountability Working Group.



Open Data Charter

Collaborating with governments and organisations to open up data for pay parity, climate action and combatting corruption.