Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, today welcomed the announcement by the European Commission that Ireland has achieved first place in its Open Data Maturity assessment, for the second year in a row.
According to the assessment of Open Data maturity in Europe for 2018, Ireland is best in class in Europe, with an overall open data maturity of 88%, followed closely by Spain (87%) and France (83%).
The assessment, which was carried out by Capgemini Consulting on behalf of the European Commission, is the fourth in a series of annual studies, and explores the speed at which the EU28 are moving in their Open Data–driven transformation. The 2018 report uses a series of indicators to measure Open Data maturity, including the level of development of Open Data policies which foster the reuse of Open Data, an assessment of the quality of data and sophistication of features available on national Open Data portals and the impact of Open Data. These benchmarks set a strong focus on updates to national Open Data strategies, and on their overall scope, as well as the facilitation of coordination and cooperation. Ireland scored especially highly on the ‘impact of Open Data’, with Real-time Passenger Information for transport services cited as an example of best practice.
Ireland’s Open Data Portal contains some 8,300 datasets that cover a range of areas including housing, water quality, statistical and geographic data. Features of the Portal include a showcase page which demonstrates how Open Data can be used, as well as visualisations of data.
Commenting on the assessment, Minister O’Donovan said: ‘It is a wonderful achievement for Ireland to be placed first in Europe for two consecutive years. We have made excellent progress in the four years since our Open Data initiative commenced and the findings of this assessment emphasise the leading role Ireland has taken in understanding the value that can be derived from Open Data, and the strategic steps that have been taken to capture and nourish its potential. This ranking could not have been achieved without the work and commitment of public bodies themselves in making their datasets available as Open Data. I would also like to acknowledge the commitment of the Open Data Governance Board who lead Ireland’s Open Data Initiative and the Public Bodies Working Group who provide technical and other support to the Initiative, as well as to the Open Data Team in the Department. I want to congratulate them all on this achievement and thank them for their effort and commitment.’
He continued on to say: “Studies have shown that Open Data has become an enabler for innovation and knowledge in today’s world. Access to official, open format non-personal data supports more effective decision-making, increases transparency of public spending and empowers citizens to take a more active role in their communities. I would encourage all public bodies to fully engage in Ireland’s Open Data Initiative so as to further open up this valuable resource. This is key to ensuring that Ireland remains top of the class as a country where the economic, social and democratic opportunities and benefits of Open Data are recognised and achieved by all stakeholders.”