New study by Capgemini Consulting highlights the significant progress European countries have made to elevate Open Data and its re-use to the next level...

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[1] 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 prioritized Open Data more strongly in 2017, but are actually engaging in a race to the top. European countries[2] 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%[3] 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[4] 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 recognized 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.”

Recommendations

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: