The Impact of open data – a preliminary study

Various countries have implemented the open (government) data strategy aiming at providing wide
access to government data in machine-readable format such that it can be freely used, reused and
redistributed by anyone. Reported ex ante evaluations have estimated that the potential benefits of
opening up public data resources are substantial.

Very little is known about the underlying economic and organizational mechanisms and implications
of open data use at the organizational level or at the level of economy as a whole. To my best knowledge,
there is no reported comprehensive country-level ex-post impact assessment of opening up
government data.

Currently, Finland is among the leading countries in opening up the government data, and it has
also a chance to be among the most advanced ones in the impact assessment of open data. The impacts
of opening up government data can be divided to economic impacts and to other social impacts.
The prerequisite for this is a careful development of the monitoring and evaluation model for opening
up government data as well as a systematic gathering of data for the impact assessment.
Furthermore, the usability and usefulness of different public data resources for consumers, firms
and public sector organizations can be assessed via the users’ own evaluations. In addition, it is important
to assess appropriate means to disseminate and promote efficient utilization of information on the
best practices of open data re-use in different organizations.