10 best practices for your Open Data initiative*

OpenDataSoft shares best practice tips for implementing open data – a cornerstone for successful Smart Cities.

Community facilities, roads & transport, sensors data, smart parking, etc. – as our cities evolve towards ‘smarter cities’, the amount of data collected increases, data becomes more real-time, and potential returns from opening it are multiplied.

Benefits from a successful open data initiative are numerous: open innovation and new businesses creation, service delivery improvement, increased transparency and community engagement – all ultimately contributing to community satisfaction of councils’ services.

To date, not many Australian open data initiatives have delivered on these promises, and the wider community hasn’t really engaged with open data yet.

For an open data project to succeed and gain visibility with the community, it is critical to establish robust foundations from the outset.

Through the implementation of over 50 open data portals globally, OpenDataSoft has observed 10 best practices to follow:

1. Ease of use: the greater community, i.e. not just developers, should be able to navigate datasets.

2. Bring data to life: provide easy to use data visualisation tools for the community to create and share their own data mash-ups.

3. Seamless integration with council website: the open data portal should follow similar branding to the council’s website and be accessible directly from it.

4. Publish a dashboard: the community will appreciate transparency of council reporting on their commitments. The ISO 37120 norm is useful to determine what to publish on the dashboard.

5. Data federation: link your portal with neighbouring councils for users to search and visualise their data from within your portal.

6. Data API: any dataset should be accessible via a Data API to facilitate creation of 3rd party apps & services.

7. Publish real time datasets: real time data fosters developers’ innovation e.g. parking sensors data.

8. Granular datasets: they trigger interest from data scientists.

9. Corporate strategy alignment: use council’s strategy to prioritise dataset publication.

10. Crowdsourcing: provide your community with the ability to contribute and collect data for you.

The OpenDataSoft platform has been designed and refined over the years with the above best practices front of mind. Drop us an email at: [email protected] to request a free trial, and/or ask our team to work with you to develop a free proof-of-concept.

*Copy supplied by OpenDataSoft