Recommendations for sustainable Open Data Portals

The Open Data Institute (ODI) released 'Recommendations for Open Data Portals: from setup to sustanaibility' (2017) as part of the European Data Portal project. This is the first of two reports which will look at the sustainability of Open Data portals. You may boost your knowledge about Open Data with eLearning modules (+ More Training Material) available on European Data Portal.


Open Data Portals are: 

  • web-based interfaces designed to make it easier to find re-usable information. Like library catalogues, they contain metadata records of datasets published for re-use ..., (Re-using Open Data ...: a new European Data Portal study report);
  • a critical part of our data infrastructure: they connect data holders with data users, who in turn create services that citizens and businesses benefit from and rely on. 

At its core each PORTAL has the same FUNCTIONS:

1.) help people find the Open Data they need;

2.) ensure that data accessed via the portal continues to be relevant, useful and usable;

3.) monitor and improve the quality and timeliness of data accessed via the portal;

4.) keep pace with data technologies and services, and user needs, as they evolve.

Considering that most Open Data portals were set up without sustainability in mind, portal owners now face a series of interlinked problems: limited funding, challenges instigating re-use of data, data-quality issues, securing political support for publishing relevant data, and scaling up with legacy systems and operating structures.

This means many portals struggle to remain fit for purpose...

The report 'Recommendations for Open Data Portals: from setup to sustanaibility' sets outs how portals can move from setup to sustainability, with recommendations in each of five key areas, which should be encompassed by a sustainable Open Data Portal:

(1) governance

(2) financing 

(3) architecture

(4) operations that make a portal sustainable

(5) metrics that can be used to monitor and evaluate progress 

By highlighting examples of successful ideas and initiatives across Europe, in the recommendations and through several case studies, the report demonstrates best practices for others to follow: 

The report’s authors have significant experience creating Open Data portals and leading Open Data initiatives, including, and the Open Defra initiative.

The report was reviewed and contributed to by the team that have developed and manage the European Data Portal.


SOURCE: 'Recommendations for Open Data Portals: from setup to sustanaibility' (European Data Portal, © European Union, 2017). 


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