What role should data publishers play in encouraging the use of their data?


Open data has no value unless it is used.

What role should open data publishers play in encouraging the use of their data?


One of the most valuable roles publishers can play, other than promoting the data they release with the context around it, is to focus the community on significant challenges which could be addressable through innovative use of their data.

In this case I recommend approaches such as Challenges and Hackathons focused on specific topics or problems, broad enough to allow for multiple approaches, but narrow enough to support agency agendas while motivated a targeted focus by community members.

These both foster use of publisher data and deliver a direct return (insights/ideas/services) to agencies, thus are far more sustainable initiatives as both data consumers and data publishers can point to the value of these approaches over time, and therefore they are far easier to sustain.


The Heart Foundation recommends the publishers of data should clearly define:-
-The terms and conditions of the data e.g copyright restrictions.
-How to access the data should be clearly outlined to encourage easy access.
-Clearly outline the limitations of the data and disclose the methodology/ technical reports etc.
-Educate and promote the use of the data for quality Improvement activities, service planning, resource allocation and advocacy etc.


I would like to see publishers:

  • describe the problems they are trying to solve
  • commit to publishing high quality data and APIs to help solve them
  • provide opportunities for publishers and consumers to discuss and work together on a set of related problems