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Open Data Barometer – Leaders Edition

September 20, 2018

The Open Data Barometer aims to uncover the true prevalence and impact of open data initiatives around the world, ranking governments on:

  • Readiness for open data initiatives.
  • Implementation of open data programmes.
  • Impact that open data is having on business, politics and civil society.

This Leaders Edition looks specifically at 30 governments that have made concrete commitments to champion open data — either by adopting the Open Data Charter, or as members of the G20, by signing up to the G20 Anti-Corruption Open Data Principles

The study finds that although these 30 governments are improving more quickly than the rest of the world, overall progress remains slow and only 19% of all datasets measured are truly open. Not a single government has adopted all the changes necessary to make open data in government the norm, rather than the exception.

Key Findings:

  • Fewer than 1 in 5 datasets are open: Given that these 30 governments are expected to be open data leaders, it is deeply concerning that the vast majority of their datasets remain closed to the public. This shows how little progress has been made in 10 years of open data.
  • Early world leaders are faltering: The UK — the global open data leader for many years — has seen its total score decline slightly in the five years we’ve been measuring performance for the Barometer. The only other government to see an absolute reduction in score in this leaders group is the USA — another early pioneer which has seen its score fall by 11 points and can no longer be considered an open data champion.
  • Governments still treat open data as a side project: The Barometer results show that governments are still treating open data as isolated initiatives. Governments must prioritise and invest in open data governance to support the substantial changes needed to embed an open approach across agencies and departments.

To show true leadership, governments must do more than make promises to promote open data. Open data must become part of how they govern day-to-day, not just in one or two departments, but across the whole of government. Otherwise, open data will continue to be published in the haphazard, incomplete way that it has been for the past decade.

The biggest action governments can take to speed up progress is to start investing the significant resources needed to build the policies, practices and infrastructure that will drive this transformation.

Access the findings and recommendations in full and explore the data at The report is available to download as a PDF in English and Spanish.

The last global study is the Open Data Barometer – Fourth Edition.