Build sustainable Open Data Portals with European Data Portal practical guide

Image sources: Analytical Report 8: The Future of Open Data Portals - - European Data Portal  - -

Data Portals play an essential role in the promotion of Open Data practices across within each country and region, as they represent central points to publish and access datasets. In order to ensure such data infrastructures remain relevant over time, a series of aspects should be considered and embedded in the design stages of any Open Data portal.

The European Data Portal  Report:  The Future of Open Data Portals (26 pp.) presents 

a point of view of sustainability of Open Data infrastructures and recommends 10 ways (or indicators) portals can be organised to add value over time : 

1. Organising for use of the datasets (rather than simply for publication).


2. Learning from the techniques utilised by recently emerged commercial data marketplaces; promoting use via the sharing of knowledge, co-opting methods common in the open source software community.

3. Investing in discoverability best practices, borrowing from e-commerce.

4. Publishing good quality metadata, to enhance reuse.

5. Adopting standards to ensure interoperability.

6. Co-locating tools, so that a wider range of users and re-users can be engaged with.

7. Linking datasets to enhance value.


8. Being accessible by offering both options for big data, such as Application Programme Interfaces, and options for more manual processing, such as comma separated value files, thus ensuring a wide range of user needs are met.

9. Co-locating documentation, so that users do not need to be domain experts in order to understand the data.

10. Being measurable, as a way to assess how well they are meeting users’ needs

While walking readers through the ten items list, the report provides examples of success stories for each section. 

With an ever growing and more and more diverse Open Data community, such recommendations should be addressed in a timely manner.

An easy-to-use guide proposed by the European Data Portal aims to enhance user engagement, foster quality, enable usage metricspromote re-use of data and standards, co-locate documentation, as well as benefit from linked data and data visualisation tools.  

"It is hoped this list will be operationalised by portals by looking critically at their offering and taking an honest inventory; by addressing front end issues to meet user needs; by engaging with data providers not only to deliver the content in appropriate formats but also to share their domain knowledge; and finally, by engaging with other portals to solve joint challenges, primarily those of standards". 

Download : Analytical Report 8: The Future of Open Data Portals

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