Mr. Brendan Howlin, TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform today, 22 July 2014, launched Ireland’s national Open Data Portal developed by Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway together with the research reports produced by Insight.

The Minister said:

“I am delighted to be launching Ireland’s national Open Data portal together with research compiled by Insight. This work builds on initiatives already in place in Ireland taking into account best international practice and will enable the development of a national Open Data strategy.

Open Data forms a core element of Ireland’s first Open Government Partnership (OGP) national Action Plan which, following Government approval, will be published and transmitted to the OGP Steering Committee to facilitate Ireland’s full membership of the Partnership.  Insight was commissioned to carry out this research to develop the basic building blocks for a national Open Data strategy.

The national Open Data Portal (data.gov.ie) currently contains 418 datasets from 45 public bodies.  It is an alpha site, but an important first step.  The next steps to further develop it will be considered in tandem with experts in the public sector and the wider public. Going forward, the Minister would encourage public bodies to publish datasets on this portal.

The Minister said:

“I am very excited about Open Data. Studies show that publication of official non-personal data in open format has the potential to drive more effective decision-making and efficient service delivery, spur economic growth, and empower citizens to take an active role in improving their own communities”.   

Professor Stefan Decker, Director of Insight at NUI Galway, commented: The Open Data Roadmap and Portal developed by Insight at NUI Galway is a great example of leveraging research results and expertise funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland for the good of society. Together with the civil society we are able to make a contribution to Ireland by enabling the use of public data assets for economic and societal benefit.”

Insight’s work is being published to assist the development of an Open Data strategy for Ireland.  Submissions should be made by 5pm on 30th September to opendata@per.gov.ie

ENDS

Notes for Editors

About Insight, the Centre for Data Analytics

Insight is Ireland’s leading research centre for the study of Data Analytics. In a joint initiative between NUI Galway, DCU, UCC and UCD, Insight brings together more than 200 researchers, with 30 industry partners, to position Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. Established by Science Foundation Ireland, Insight focuses on new ways to capture and understand data from the world around us, making better decisions for people, communities and industry, and creating a more informed society in a healthier, more productive world.

Insight’s research

The Insight research comprises a Best Practice Handbook, a Data Audit Report, a Roadmap for Open Data, an Evaluation Framework and an Open Data Publication Handbook which will provide guidance to public bodies on the publication of data in open format in line with international standards.

  • Best Practice Handbook – this is the core document which draws together existing best practice standards for the publication and re-use of Open Data to assist in establishing best practice standards in Ireland
  • Data Audit Report – reports on an audit of the Irish public sector datasets available online and aligns the findings with the ‘common high-value datasets’ based on the G8 Open Data Charter categories
  • Roadmap – sets out a detailed 3 year plan for the objectives, structure and actions necessary to advance publication of national and regional Open Data for maximum impact
  • Evaluation Framework to assess the current state of readiness for Open Data in Ireland; to monitor and assess the ongoing progress of the initiative, and to measure the actual economic, social and political impact of the initiative.

Public consultation

Reflection on Insight’s work over the consultation period to 30th September should stimulate ideas on what should be contained in the Open Data strategy for Ireland.  Submissions should be made to the following email address opendata@per.gov.ie

National Action Plan

The OGP National Action Plan contains almost 30 actions which are closely aligned with OGP objectives to increase the openness, transparency and accountability of public governance. These actions focus on:-

  • Promoting Open Data and Transparency,
  • Building Citizen Participation and
  • Rebuilding public trust in Government

The Plan draws on recommendations for inclusion in Ireland’s Action Plan contained in the report of the public meetings held by civil society organisations in summer last year.  The draft Plan was developed over the course of recent months by a Joint Working Group of officials and representatives of civil society reporting to a broader Civil Society Forum.