By: Deirdre Appel, Open Data Watch
Earlier this year Open Data Watch (ODW) released the Open Data Inventory (ODIN) – an assessment of the coverage and openness of official statistics in 20 data categories for 125 countries. Representatives from national statistical offices (NSOs) around the world gathered in New York on March 5 for the its launch. ODIN 2015 had a positive reception and stimulated discussion of open official statistics.
ODW is pleased to announce that work on the 2016 Open Data Inventory has begun.
What’s new about ODIN 2016?
We’ve added countries
For 2016 ODW is adding 50 country assessments for a total of 175 countries. While 2015 ODIN primarily focused on low- and middle-income countries, we’ve broadened our scope for 2016 to include many high-income and OECD countries: Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Malta, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.
We’ve refined the indicators
Guidelines for a few indicators have been refined. For example, 2016 ODIN now specifies quarterly periodicity for national accounts and price statistics. This will better align the frequency of data output from NSOs with internationally agreed standards, such as IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), which is widely observed by countries that subscribe to the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS). This guideline is only applied to the last five years to give NSOs time to extend their historical record. Additionally, we refined the openness elements for greater clarity based on international definitions of open data. Despite these changes, the overall methodology remains the same. This allows the 2015 scores to serve as benchmarks for comparison with the 2016 results.
We’ve improved the assessment process
The assessment process benefited from the trial and error of the first year. Learning from 2015, we made improvements to our assessor training and the assessment process. Each assessor has received a rigorous all-day training session to familiarize them with ODIN methodology and to introduce the new Assessor Input Module (AIM). Replacing large and difficult to navigate spreadsheets, AIM provides simplified data entry with prompts and ready access to the scoring guidelines. Assessors can easily keep track of data sources, record information on indicators, and quickly refer back to their input for scoring. This will streamline the assessment process and lower the likelihood of human error, thus improving data quality. AIM will also facilitate the review process. Using AIM, reviewers and managers can monitor and track progress of all ongoing assessments.
We’ve discovered new uses for ODIN
We previously outlined 10 uses of the 2015 Open Data Inventory. From identifying the data challenges facing a region to finding statistical sources within a country, ODIN serves as both a practical and analytical tool for exploring a country’s official statistics. With the release of ODIN 2016, opportunities for further use will grow. Comparisons over time will show a country’s progress towards strengthening its open data system. Questions such as, “What countries saw the most progress in openness and coverage?” and, “What data categories within a country saw greater openness and coverage?” can be explored. Examining persistent data gaps within the national statistics offices is another way to use the data by asking questions such as “Where is the country struggling to make improvement and where can attention be directed?” ODIN 2016 can highlight such issues.
The data collection and assessment period for ODIN is ongoing and will be completed by September. Any changes to the openness and coverage of data supplied on national statistic offices after this assessment period will be reflected in the 2017 assessment. Stay tuned for updates on progress towards the 2016 ODIN release next January.
ODIN 2015 results are available at https://odin.opendatawatch.com. All ODIN data are free for use and reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY) license