The UK is sliding down a chart of countries with open data, albeit only to second place after two other countries nudged their way into joint first. The provisional chart from the Global Open Data Index (GODI) has Australia and Taiwan supplanting the UK, which has been in first place for a couple of years now.
The results will be finalised in June and there is still time to appeal. The question is whether this matters – and joint third place with France (where we are at the moment) is probably pretty reasonable.
GODI’s mission is to check openness of data from government and its accessibility to stakeholders and by the look of things the UK has done pretty well historically. The move to second place may not be a sign that we’ve actually slipped in our practices as the way the data is collected has changed over the last 12 months.
It may seem a little unusual to release preliminary results in this way but this is a deliberate part of GODI’s methods. The idea is not necessarily to produce a definitive league table, inevitable though that is with a report like this, but to provoke some sort of conversation.
In previous years the organisation has commented that the UK has done well but that one possible result is overconfidence. Last year the country came top in spite of the addition of five new categories of questions; this year there were additional “experimental” categories that might not reappear in subsequent years.
The definitive listing for 2016 will appear on 15 June.