Open Data: Emerging trends, issues and best practices
Preface: this is the final report of the Open Data, Open Society research project. The first report of the same project focused on explaining the critical importance of digital data in contemporary society and business activities; defining Open Data; giving examples on their potential, especially at the local level, on transparency and economics activities; finally, defining summarizing some general best practices.
This second report, published in September 2011, looks at what happened in the Open Data arena between October 2010 and June 2011.
Since I believe that many of the considerations and suggestions of this second report are (at least) as much valid as they were in 2011, on September 16th, 2013 I have republished all its chapters here, as separate pages with comments open to anonymous readers, in order to facilitate as much as possible feedback and discussion on all the topics discussed in the report. Your feedback is very, very welcome (but please do check the notes to readers first!). The report is also freely available online in other formats: for details, please read my initial announcement.
Abstract: After some considerations on the general social and political background of that period, the report is divided in two main parts. The first describes some emerging trends and issues related to Open Data, that got minor or no coverage in the first report, like the need to better define what Public Sector Information and Open Data should be. The second part discusses some practices and actions to follow to deal with those trends and issues.
Table of Contents
Clearer vision of the real risks and limits of Open Data: Open Data, we already said, is about reuse. The point is, at least when the goal is Open Government and transparency in politics, reuse by whom? There is no automatic cause-effect relationship between Open Data and real transparency and democracy. On the contrary, several problems may occur, if administrators and citizens don’t pay close attention.
Conclusion: seven Open Data strategy and best practices suggestions Starting from the trends and conclusion described in the previous chapter, this section lists, in the most synthetic way possible, some strategic actions and best practices for 2011, that we consider important in making Open Data succeed and bring the greatest possible benefits to all citizens and businesses.