Opening up access to data for innovative use of information
Knowledge is an asset that grows in value when it is shared and processed. The public sector has control of a considerable amount of information resources. Measures that facilitate the use of information resources can increase the value of this intellectual capital, open up opportunities for new business activities, research and education, help develop better services for the citizens, as well as improve decision-making, step up the activities of the administration and make them more transparent.
Open public data refers to information produced or administered by a public organisation; it is in a machine-readable format and available free of charge to anyone; it can be edited and shared for both private and commercial purposes.
Metadata of public open data are first collated in the Avoindata.fi service and then harvested to the European Data Portal. The service is developed and maintained by the Population Register Centre together with the API catalogue in the Suomi.fi service.
One of the objectives of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's Government Programme is to create favourable conditions for new business ideas through open data and better use of information resources. The Government also wants to strengthen knowledge-based decision-making and openness. When public information resources are opened up, the focus of activities will be shifting to utilising data and strengthening information skills as part of the digitalisation of administration and services.
How to open data
The guide to open data available in the Avoindata.fi service provides guidelines on how to open data and shares good open data practices to the public administration and other interested parties. The guide was brainstormed and designed together with the public administration agencies with open data initiatives, the Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Open Knowledge Finland and the Six City Strategy (6Aika).
The guide contents are improved continuously based on user feedback. All registered users in the Avoindata.fi services can give feedback and take part in the development of the guide. The Avoindata.fi services are produced and developed by the Population Register Centre.
Opening up of public information resources
There is a great variety of Finnish public information resources available as open data, such as data on terrain, the environment, weather, climate, sea, transport, financing, statistics and culture. Many local authorities are also providing open data. Measures taken under the Finnish Open Data Programme have accelerated the opening up of information resources in 2013–2015.
- Report: Data utilisation boosts innovation and growth (Press release by the Government Communications Department, 16 March 2017)
- Final report of the Finnish Open Data Programme (in Finnish)
- Presentations at the closing event of the Open Data Programme (in Finnish)
- The impact of open data – a preliminary study (in Finnish)
- The impact of open data – a preliminary study in English
- Open Data Programme materials (in Finnish)
Shared services and practices
In the promotion of open data, Finland conducts active, network-based cooperation with international actors. Shared practices and structures create opportunities for cross-border utilisation of data. Finland has, for example, participated in the pan European Share-PSI project: the best practices for open data developed in the project have been included in the guide to open data available in the Avoindata.fi service.
Finland has made good progress in opening up access to information resources also according to international surveys. Finland's ranking and progress are actively monitored.
International portals and surveys
- European Data Portal
- Open data monitor
- Global open data index by country 2015 Open data index (OKF)
- PSI Scoreboard (EU)
- Open data barometer (World Wide Web Foundation)
- OECD - Open Government Data