We specialize in open data for all types of organizations, whether public or private. We currently have many customers in this area and we have advised (and learned) of all these projects to refine a methodology that allows us to guide our clients in each of the stages in which an Open Data project is divided. These projects always go goes far beyond the simply opening the data. The application of a strict methodology is key to achieve that institutions open its data successfully and obtain therefore the maximum benefits from the opening.
This methodology, developed by desideDatum, consists of five stages that not necessarily have be taken strictly in an iterative way. The only stage that may carry out before the rest is the first, the diagnostic phase.
At this stage, we take a “picture” of the current status of data management, prior to its opening, analyzing the current situation concerning the information available in the organization. The result of this stage is a report that includes the current situation of data (and information) management in the institution (all data and information, not only what is likely to be open). This report will be used in the following stages.
This stage includes the actions that are carried out before the opening of the information. Largely, at this stage what is done is to implement the changes proposed in the report resulting from the diagnosis stage. Actions such as ensuring data quality, automated data updating, modifying – if necessary – the data formats, standards harmonization, metadata preparation, etc. Often this stage is used to make changes to information systems, therefore desideDatum has a collaboration agreement with SII Concatel to help our customers to update their information systems.
What we do at this stage is to open the data, already prepared in the previous stage, on the tool choosen to create the open data portal. To do this, desideratum works with Socrata, the Open Data portal leading global provider. However, if the customer decides choose to another tool, the other stages do not change, they are independent of the selected tool.
At this stage what is done is to explain all the work done in order that citizens, businesses and other public know that the administration has decided to open its data. It is not just simply communicating that there is an Open Data portal but also doing a lot of pedagogy to explain the benefits that this Open Data portal can provide to the citizens.
We perform actions that show how it is evolving the initiative of transparency. These actions are addressed specifically to those positions responsible for the Open Data project: Setting goals and indicators to perform a project’s dashboard. It is really perceived and used by the public? We are open to what level? What actions should be implemented to open more data? etc.
At this stage, transversal to all the others, we see which actions are needed to be done to manage the change occurred internally in the institution after opening its data. These actions range from staff training so they know best the Open Data concept (and what it is involved on it) to change proposals for internal processes, etc. It is important to keep in mind that, in any Open Data initiative, the first customer is always the institution that has decided to open its data. Therefore, open data always significantly affects the internal processes.