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Developing an Open Data Plan

Understanding your agency information assets and stakeholders will assist in developing a successful open data plan.

Steps in developing a plan

Establish an Open Data Working Group

This group should comprise key stakeholders including the Business Owners of information, technical members such as the agency security adviser and information system experts. This group may be able to identify:

  • agency information systems and existing data extracts
  • agency information management practices
  • strategy or planning documents that could incorporate open data plans
  • potential open data candidates for short term data release goals
  • opportunities to participate in whole of government open data activities
  • opportunities that would benefit citizens and the economy.

Open Data Working Groups can assist in the review of plans and implementation of open data actions.

Appoint an Open Data Coordinator

The Open Data Advocate (appointed by the CE) nominates an Open Data Coordinator who will develop and implement an Agency Open Data Plan. 

What to include in an agency open data plan

Agency open data plans should contain short term and long term actions that advance open data and embed open data principles and processes into business as usual.

Agencies may incorporate open data actions into existing business and technology planning documents if these are made publicly available. Alternatively, a separate open data strategy will need to be published openly and reviewed periodically.

Agency planning actions are provided to guide agencies in developing their open data plans and actions.

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Actions and Goals Planning Guidance
Establish roles and responsibilities

Establish who will perform roles and responsibilities that will drive open data outcomes and embed open data principles across the agency.

A guide to recommended roles and responsibilities is provided in the Open Data Process Guide.

Open Data Working Group Establish an Open Data Working Group comprised of key business owners and stakeholders that collect, process, protect, maintain and disseminate data.   Open Data Working Groups will help facilitate the implementation of open data actions.
Approach to Identifying Data

Define the agency approach for identifying datasets held by each operational or business unit within the agency. Agencies should be guided by the Open Data Process Guide (‘Identify’ section). Determine the approach in consultation with other agency staff such as the Agency Security Executive who may have similar objectives.

Develop actions that ensure the open data process is applied proactively to new collections of datasets. A data release schedule which identifies data candidates and open data process milestones may assist agencies to achieve actions.

Release Approach  Define the agency approach for the release of open data. Consider existing infrastructure, emerging technologies, operating environments, scalability of automated data delivery and data services.  A different approach may be required for different data. Agencies should be guided by the Open Data Process Guide (Approach Section).
Process

Identify agency specific processes or policies that need to be aligned or implemented to support open data principles and actions. Processes must ensure new collections of data are considered for open data and released data is maintained.

Ensure appropriate records of approval are maintained.

 
Open Data Project

Establish a new open data project that will:

  • establish or pilot a web service or API for the release of data 
  • proactively release freedom of information (FOI) requested data
  • release community requested data
 
Participate in Activities Participate in activities designed to advance open data, e.g. the annual open data competition GovHack (known locally as Unleashed).   
Data Release

Determine achievable annual targets for

  • additional datasets to be released openly
  • new collections of data to be released openly
  • manual data release converted to a web service.
 

 

Actions and Goals Planning Guidance
Identify, release and maintain data
  • continue activities relating to identification and application of the open data process for open data candidates
  • establish processes or systems that will ensure the reliable refresh of current data
  • complete an annual review of open data, supporting metadata and resources that are published to ensure currency
  • retain data published online to ensure future access to historical data for trend analysis
  • establish a periodic representation of any data that is automatically refreshed.

Citizen benefits realised

  • release data that demonstrates an open and accountable government. At a minimum tables published in agency annual reports should be released as open data
  • release data that may provide public benefit (innovation, research, improved services or improved decision-making)
  • release data requested by the community
  • release data using APIs, web services, RSS feeds or real-time protocols.

Government benefits realised

  • use relevant open data across South Australia and other jurisdictions to improve policy decisions
  • release data that is comparable to data from another government jurisdiction
  • release data that achieves government efficiencies through proactive disclosure of across agency and jurisdictional reporting
  • release data that achieves government efficiencies through proactive disclosure of data regularly requested through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

Improve open data maturity

  • create business improvement and technology enabled projects to consider open data principles and data collection improvement
  • automate approaches to the delivery of open data
  • improve the quality and reliability of data released
  • release data files in open and machine-readable formats (CSV, XML)
  • provide developer and user support

Engagement and collaboration

  • provide a point of contact and respond to community enquiries
  • consider data requests in future open data plans
  • where the release of data is through an application programming interface, web service or real-time application, engage with the developer community and provide a communication channel that will support collaboration and innovation for the data delivered. 

Report open data actions

Data.SA provides public access to statistics that demonstrate an agency’s progress towards releasing and maintaining the currency of datasets.

Agencies are encouraged to promote their open data projects through the Office for Customer, ICT and Digital Transformation website.

Last updated: 29 March 2017