The 2014 Open Data Index has been released, ranking the countries leading the world in opening up government data.
The Open Data Index measures and benchmarks the openness of data around the world. Countries are ranked based on the availability and accessibility of information in ten key areas, including government spending election results, transport timetables, and pollution levels.
The UK topped the Open Data Index for the third year in a row, with Denmark in close second place. France recorded the fastest jump in the index, coming in at 3rd place after placing 12th in the 2013 rankings. Finland ranked fourth place, with Australia and New Zealand were jointly ranked in 5th place.
“We’re delighted to see the UK retain its number one position in the Open Data Index. We believe this recognizes the UK continues to have a leading position in this globally important area and recognizes our efforts ongoing efforts to be the most transparent and open government in the world”, stated Frances Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, United Kingdom.
Open Knowledge which publishes the Index noted that whilst there has been some progress in open data initiatives, most governments are still not providing key information in an accessible form to their citizens and businesses.
A key finding of the 2014 Index was that whilst Government budget data is now quite widely published, reporting on government spending remains only about 13% open. The UK and Greece were the only two countries to score 100% for government spending data.
The study also found that whilst a lot of data is being published, a significant proportion of data being published is not truly open. Of 970 datasets checked, only 11%, adhere to the open definition of being fully interoperable, accessible and useful. This
Rufus Pollock, Founder and President of Open Knowledge said “For the true benefits of open data to be realised, governments must do more than simply put a few spreadsheets online. The information should be easily found and understood, and should be able to be freely used, reused and shared by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose”.
The Top 5 countries for 2014 were:
3. France (up from 12th place in 2013)
5. Australia and New Zealand
The US was ranked in 9th place. The Russian Federation, which committed to the G8 Open Data charter in 2013, ranked significantly behind its peers in 45th place.
The G8 Countries rankings:
- Uk – #1
- France – #3
- US – #8
- Russia – #45