The UK’s Open Government Partnership 2013 National Action Plan references the Open Data Engagement principles, outlining how their work on the Open Data Communities platform is:
- demand driven, eg by working closely with Homelessness charities to prioritise release of homelessness statistics in response to their specific business needs
- putting data in context, eg by clearly describing the data provided, including information about frequency of updates, data formats and data quality. And also providing qualitative information such as details of how the data was created and documentation on retrieving and working with the data;
- supporting conversation around data, eg through partnership with the county of Hampshire to delivering new tools within the Hampshire Hub to enable users to comment on datasets, including sources from DCLG’s OpenDataCommunities service, and network with other data users;
Hopefully DCLG will also work towards the next stars in the engagement framework by building capacity of the community to use data, and by collaborating with citizens on creation of data and on shaping data collection.
The Open Data Communities has also worked to achieve five stars of linked open data, showing how these frameworks can work together to improve both quality of and usability of open data.
The US Data.gov hosts a number of ‘community’ sections on it’s website. The community pages explain how different audiences can use the available data, and provides access to specific thematic data and tools, apps, challenges, blogs, resources and other sources of data.
The US Data.gov government apps directory provides access to over 1000 tools, feeds, reports and resources that work with open government datasets. These are accessible from a top-level link on the Data.gov website, though they are not linked directly from the data catalogue pages of the datasets that they use.
If government has a dataset, the chances are that it has also used that dataset to create reports, drive business analytic tools, provide operational data feeds or build websites focussed on particular audiences. Providing access to these government funded applications and data uses alongside access to data can help users to understand data in context, and to understand how government currently uses and interprets the data.
The Open Data portal for the City of Firenze in Italy has been developed in collaboration with civil society, and makes use of a Twitter hashtag (#opendatafirenze) and e-mail to engage with data users, as well as featuring a range of interactive and static visualisations that have been created from the data on the open data for all pages.