The Open Data Maturity Ranking is shoddy – it badly needs to be re-thought

Article by Olesya Grabova: “Digitalising government is essential for Europe’s future innovation and economic growth and one of the keys to achieving this is open data – information that public entities gather, create, or fund, and it’s accessible to all to freely use.

This includes everything from public budget details to transport schedules. Open data’s benefits are vast — it fuels research, boosts innovation, and can even save lives in wartime through the creation of chatbots with information about bomb shelter locations. It’s estimated that its economic value will reach a total of EUR 194 billion for EU countries and the UK by 2030.

This is why correctly measuring European countries’ progress in open data is so important. And that’s why the European Commission developed the Open Data Maturity (ODM) ranking, which annually measures open data quality, policies, online portals, and impact across 35 European countries.

Alas, however, it doesn’t work as well as it should and this needs to be addressed.

A closer look at the report’s overall approach reveals the ranking hardly reflects countries’ real progress when it comes to open data. This flawed system, rather than guiding countries towards genuine improvement, risks misrepresenting their actual progress and misleads citizens about their country’s advancements, which further stalls opportunities for innovation.

Take Slovakia. It’s apparently the biggest climber,  leaping from 29th to 10th place in just over a year. One would expect that the country has made significant progress in making public sector information available and stimulating its reuse – one of the OMD assessment’s key elements.

A deeper examination reveals that this isn’t the case. Looking at the ODM’s methodology highlights where it falls short… and how it can be fixed…(More)”.

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