Last week (21 April) the World Wide Web Foundation published the results of its Open Data Barometer, which showed that the UK remains at number one in the world. The barometer compares a number of measures to judge how well countries and regions are performing in opening up their data, adopting standards, and leading on best practice in data publication. Over the past few years, the ranking of countries on the barometer has become a benchmark for governments aiming for greater transparency, efficiency and productivity by unlocking the value of their data.
This is thanks in no small part to teams within the Defra group contributing to the target of publishing 8,000 open datasets by the end of June this year, as set by the Secretary of State last year. Defra’s Permanent Secretary, Clare Moriarty, wanted to share her appreciation with all colleagues:
“We’re already well on our way to achieving our target. Several teams within Defra have already met their original pledge for the number of datasets they would make open, and I wanted to say a huge thank you to all the teams across the Defra group working towards this. This is a very serious collective effort; I’m really proud of the huge amount of work that’s gone into achieving this.”
“It’s vital, however, that we continue to publish open data beyond that target, and well after June has passed. I want Defra to continue to be ‘open by default’ so if we create or commission data, we should not only be publishing it as open data, but making sure it’s in the best possible state for users. I was in Bristol last week and heard from the EA data team about some great examples of how our data is supporting the delivery of our five-year plan to create opportunities for innovation and growth.”
Key to ensuring Defra’s data is as useful as it can be is the Defra Data Programme and its work towards a more #OpenDefra. By listening and responding to Defra’s data users – whether they’re SMEs, research institutions, technologists or app developers, other government departments or different teams within the Defra group – the Data Programme is working to make sure that our data assets help us to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and create a great place to live.
We can all contribute to making sure the UK continues to lead the world in open data, by making sure Defra is a beacon in government for open data publication, standards and working practices.
Let’s make sure #OpenDefra becomes much bigger than 8,000 – not just a numerical target, but a whole new way of working.