Feedback and usage analytics can be retrieved automatically by the use of the open data catalogue and the repository or manually by open data users making active contact with the public administration. The latter appears to be negligibly low in all observed cases. Apart from institutionalised forums for exchange, as in the case of the Spanish business associations or other events (e.g. ‘hackathons’), public administration receives little feedback on its open data in general, its quality or user requirements.
What open data catalogue providers regularly analyse and share with data owners are statistics on data requests and retrievals that are processed via their platform. However, they are not aware and not informed about requests made via other catalogues or directly to the repository, so they do not have the full picture of data use.
Also, public administrations – be it data owners, catalogue or open data repository providers – rarely know about the actual use and purpose of open data. Due to privacy reasons and on behalf of the data protection officer, they are also sometimes not allowed to keep detailed analytics, e.g. IP addresses. Thus, they do not know whether a download is an individual citizen who immediately deletes the data or whether it is a business building an application for thousands of users on top of the data. One reason is that according to the ‘open-logic’ it is not required to report use of open data. Some users do and are listed by catalogues. In a related case of an administration in the city of Munich that does not provide truly open data, but imposes several hurdles to register, report future use, sign a written user agreement and subsequently provides designated access for every user, fine- grained user analytics are possible.
Stakeholders and their exemplary interests in feedback processing and usage analytics
|Open data repository providers||Track open data use and share analytics, if results are presentable (i.e. considered positive)|
|Open data catalogue provider||Track open data use to understand what high- value data sets are|
|Data protection officer||Ensure privacy rights of data users and therefore minimise usage analytics that disclose personal data|
|Data owner||Depending on the political relevance of open data, either indifference or share usage statistics that are presentable or shield them, if usage is meagre|
|Data user||Provide feedback if improvement is foreseeable and personally useful|
References can be found here: OpenDataMonitor Project – Shared References