Open Data Institute introduce certification scheme

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  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 01 July 2013
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStock Photo

During the recent G8 summit, the Open Data Institute launched its Open Data Certification scheme, which has been created for the purpose of helping everyone worldwide discover, understand and use open data.

thumbnail image: Open Data Institute introduce certification scheme

According to the ODI, the certificates were designed ‘in response to business, government, and citizen needs to bring rigour to the publication, dissemination and usage of open data. Over the last six months, ODI has been collaborating with dozens of organisations around the world to define the certificates.’

Gavin Starks, CEO of ODI who announced the launch at a G8 summit event towards the end of last month, said ‘We’re entering an era where open is the new default. Much like the global web of documents has grown over the last 20 years, we are seeing the emergence of a global web of data. The certificates will help to create the right conditions for innovation: making open data easier to find, share and use. We want to give confidence to people to invest their time, energy, and money: to build sustainable services that meet user needs, and improve people’s lives. Given the level of interest we have seen, we anticipate wide global adoption of Open Data Certificates.’ (ODI press release, 17th June 2013).

The certificate is comprised of two components: a visual mark that shows the quality level of the data and a human and machine-readable description of the data being released.

There are four levels of certificates:

Raw: A great start at the basics of publishing open data.
Pilot: Data users receive extra support from, and provide feedback to the publisher.
Standard: Regularly published open data with robust support that people can rely on.
Expert: An exceptional example of information infrastructure.

Benefits of the certificates include helping:
• publishers of data understand how they can better connect with their users;
• users of data to understand its quality, licensing, structure, and its usability;
• businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators have confidence that the data has value to them;
• policy-makers benchmark and compare the progress and quality of the data released.

Commercial and public sector organisations have already committed to the certificates including Open Corporates: corporate information for over 50 million companies worldwide; OpenStreetMap: the free wiki world map offering worldwide open geodata; and legislation.gov.uk: 500 years of UK legislation information.

An interview with Gavin Starks will be appearing on StatisticsViews.com later this month.

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