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Transparancy
04/06/2012

What Citizens Expect from Open Data

According to a current survey citizens expect information about the location of public services and financing of political parties from a release of administrative data in Austria. Economic potential is mostly attached to the development of apps. 40 percent wish the public data to be released free of charge.

von Patrick Dax

The publishing of administrative data moves forward in Austria. After Vienna and Linz made their first data public over the last years, this year other federal states and cities should follow. The Open Knowledge Forum Austria (OKFÖ) has surveyed online expectations on the release of non personalized administration data of citizens and the economy in Austria together with futurezone.

Cititzens want Transperancy
Above all, citizens want the publishing of data about political transparency in open-data-contents of the administration. More than 62 percent of the participants of the online-survey declared that data on the subjects of political party financing and funding should be published for further use in a machine readable way. Not least have the many corruption scandals in Austria caused that. “Citizens want transparency”, Thomas Thurner from Open Knowledge Forum Austria says. “Obviously they think that Open government data is a good instrument for that.”

Location- and real time data
For the success of Open-Data-Services data about locations of public services (60.2 percent) and statistical data about demography, environment and education (50.2 percent) are considered as essential by the attendants of the survey. In the real time publishing of data about the weather, the environment, traffic and energy 47.5 percent see it as important criteria of success for the open-data-portal of the government.
55 percent argue in support of publishing administrative data that should mostly benefit citizens. 16.7 percent see the economy and companies as the main target group and more than 8 percent think that published data should be used most by the administration itself.

Actuality and Detectability
Another important point for those surveyed was the actuality of the data (98.3 percent), the detectability of the data sets (87.5 percent), the availability and the quality of metadata (8.9 percent).

You could read other demands for the Open Government portal announced for April out of that survey. More than 57 percent of the participants wish that the material is linked to data from other regions and can be compared. Open standards which support cheap linking of data, play an important part for 81.7 percent of those polled.

App competitions are good backup measures
In App competitions 60 percent see a good accompanying measure to the publishing of administrative data. 22.5 percent think that they are necessary but do not see a sustainable measure in that. 17.5 percent think that the money invested in those competitions should be spent elsewhere.

Economical potential
Another central issue of the survey was the use of open data through the economy. The biggest potential – not surprisingly – with 73.5 percent is attributed to App development. Visualization of datasets and data analysis services (70.4 percent) and integration of open data into internal datasets (62.2 percent) are also seen as high potentials.

To be able to use data efficiently in concrete business models more than 83 percent consider application programming interfaces (API’s) to receive and deploy current data permanently as essential. Clearly specified licences (82.2 percent) and machine readable metadata, delivered with the date for usage are crucial for the utilization of open data through the economy. “For the economy these are fundamental requirements to make a reasonable use possible“, Thurner says.

40 percent for publication at no charge
About 40 percent of people questioned think that data should be yielded at no charge. About 60 percent would be ready, under certain circumstances, to pay for the use of the data. Concretely 31.9 percent say that the data should be reimbursed for commercial use. 14.7 percent of the respondents state that they would pay for notably extensive collected data. 9.5 percent could imagine that publication services and data quality should be allocated by administration and 3.4 percent would like to account for financing of administration with chargeable data consumption.

Open data in the EU
Also the “Review of Directive, Re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI-directive)” as announced by the EU-committee was subject matter of the online survey. The capacious publication of administration data, as suggested by EU-commissioner Neelie Kroes, was supported by 63.8 percent of the respondents. 28.4 percent believe that the administration department should only govern which data should be held back in justifiable exceptional cases.

51.7 percent of the participants favour an expansion of the PSI-directive to archives, libraries and museums. 43.1 percent think this should only count for institutions of state. 47.8 percent want the EU commission to install a department which should urge the implementation of the directive.  33.9 percent think that effective remedies are enough for the opening of administrative data in Europe.

122 people participated in the survey. The biggest part came from the economy (28.3 percent), 23.9 percent work for the authorities or administrative offices, 21.2 percent refer to themselves as being members of civil society.  The percentage of attendants who come from the political branch was 1.8 percent.

How will it go on with Open Government data?
For approximately one month interested people from the Open-Data-Community could attend a survey called “how to go on with Open Government Data”. Results have now been submitted and are available for downloading as raw data at Wiki Open Government Data whitebook.