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UK scores top on Open Data Barometer



Defra celebrates top score for the country in international rankings for opening up government data

The UK has come out top of the world rankings for the provision of open data by government.

The new Open Data Barometer report, published every year by the World Wide Web Foundation, has given Britain a series of 10 out 10s for its performance on readiness, implementation and impact of open data. Its overall score of 100 is way in front of the nearest competitor, the USA with 82.

Other high ranking performers were France, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

The report provides evidence that, while the evangelists for open data are aiming to pinpoint the shortcomings and urge organisations to make more available, the UK is matching up to the Government's claims to be a world leader in open data.

It says that in the countries studied, government budget data was the most likely to be open, but that in key areas such as government spending, budget registers, land ownership and legislation the picture was inconsistent. It cites the UK as the only one to meet the requirement for each.

It also says that, while there is evidence of open data entering the mainstream – with 55% of countries surveyed having initiatives in place – there has been limited progress around the world, with only 10% of data being open.


It reports on the survey findings – in most cases highlighting the shortcomings on the international scene – on whether the data is appropriately licensed, free, properly formatted, up to date, easy to find, sustainable and linked.

The digital team at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which in the past year has taken a lead in opening up its data, celebrated the UK's ranking with a claim that it made a big contribution.

It's permanent secretary, Claire Moriarty, said: “It’s vital, however, that we continue to publish open data beyond our target, and well after June has passed. I want Defra to continue to be ‘open by default’ so if we create or commission data, we should not only be publishing it as open data, but making sure it’s in the best possible state for users.”

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