Capgemini Consulting, the global strategy and transformation consulting arm of Capgemini, today published the third annual report measuring the state of play of Open Data in Europe. The report, “Open Data Maturity in Europe 2017: Open Data for a European Data Economy” shows that in 2017, the number of trendsetters has nearly doubled to 14 countries, in comparison to only eight countries in 2016. All trendsetters show a clear drive in implementing their Open Data policies, developing additional portal features, as well as understanding and documenting Open Data impact. The report was requested by the European Commission within the context of the European Data Portal and coordinated by Capgemini.*
The report reveals that governments across Europe have not only prioritised Open Data more strongly in 2017, but are actually engaging in a race to the top. European countries have been evaluated both in terms of Open Data readiness, assessing the span of their Open Data policies, and in terms of Open Data portal maturity. More importantly, the majority of the countries demonstrate a solid understanding of the impact of Open Data in paving the way for the data economy.
Having measured the level of Open Data maturity across Europe for 3 consecutive years, it is clear that EU countries have made considerable efforts to improve their publishing of Open Data. The research is based on two key indicators: Open Data readiness and portal maturity. In general, EU countries score 72% in terms of their Open Data readiness in 2017 compared to 57% in 2016. With regard to the overall portal maturity, EU countries have increased just over 10 percentage points from 66% in 2016 to 76% in 2017.
Combining the two indictors, the study reveals that, where as in 2015 EU countries had only completed 44% of their Open Data journey in reaching full Open Data maturity, this number increased to 59% in 2016 and then again increased to 73% in 2017. Key success factors for Open Data transformation are based on a drive for constant change and updates, a strategic vision for both policy and portal infrastructure, a deeper understanding of impact and a dedicated team that is pro-actively attentive to their environment. In addition, coming up with innovative ways to ensure financing for Open Data start-ups and developers who want to create products based on Open Data also seems to have been a key differentiator. The European Data Portal, referencing the data from all national portals since November 2015, now has nearly 790,000 data sets, more than 3 times the volume of data that was available at its launch, again confirming the drive in Europe to make increasing amounts of data available to fuel innovation.
“The impressive results from the 2017 measurement show that Public Sector Information is increasingly recognised as an asset for digital innovation in light of the data economy,” says Wendy Carrara, Principal Consultant at Capgemini Consulting managing the European Data Portal on behalf of the European Commission. “Furthermore, data is at the heart of the Artificial Intelligence revolution. European countries must continue with their efforts in improving user experience, data quality and continued release of increasing amounts of data in order to reap the benefits Open Data brings to society.”
The report concludes with a series of seven recommendations to guide decision makers and Open Data portal owners towards developing a sustainable vision for their Open Data transformation:
- Enhance your Data Portal
- Sustain Funding
- Document Impact
- Interact With Your Users
- Drive Digital Transformation
- Explore Privately Held Data
- Offer Real-Time Data
Countries now need to elaborate:
- A vision to embed Open Data in a broader agenda for the digital transformation of the public sector
- A solid strategy underpinning the development of a national data portal, as one of the components of a national data infrastructure
The European Data Portal
Open Data refers to the information collected, produced or paid for by public bodies which can be freely used, modified and shared by anyone. The benefits of Open Data include an increase in government transparency and accountability as well tangible financial benefits for citizens, businesses and civil society. The Capgemini study published in 2015 for the launch of the European Data Portal estimated a value of 75.7 billion EUR in market size for Open Data in 2020, with a significant increase by approximately 37% between 2016 and 2020. In this context, the European Union launched the European Data Portal. The Portal collects information about the data made available in each European Country. To date, it covers 34 countries, 73 catalogues, links to nearly 790,000 data sets across Europe and offers a variety of learning resources and use cases. This multi-year engagement is just one of the ways in which the Capgemini Group supports its clients to take strategic insight from multi-faceted data every day.
*The deployment of the European Data Portal is led by Capgemini Consulting in association with the Open Data Institute (ODI), Intrasoft International, Time.lex, Sogeti, the University of Southampton, con terra and Fraunhofer Fokus, on behalf of the European Commission.
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 Trendsetters have implemented an advanced Open Data policy with extensive portal features and national coordination mechanisms across domains.
 The countries covered by this assessment include the EU28 countries. In addition, two chapters have been dedicated to the EFTA countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – commonly referred to as the EU28+ countries and to the EU accession countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM) Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.
 Based on detailed questionnaires filled in by the national Open Data Portal representatives. From each specific indicator an average of the EU28 was calculated to compare all assessed countries with the EU average. Open Data Readiness looks at the presence of Open Data policies, national coordination, licensing norms, use of data, and the social, political and economic impact of Open Data. Portal Maturity looks at re-usability of data, usability of the portal and spread of data across domains.
 The Open Data journey is the path governments follow to publish data as open data. This requires developing a strategy usually encapsulated in an Open Data Policy, followed by the development of an Open Data Portal, acting as a platform to make data accessible for all in one single place. The progress countries make on their journey towards full openly available government data through sophisticated portals.