ODUG Data Request Roadmap launch
Today, I’m delighted to publish an interactive dashboard – the ODUG Data Request Roadmap – showing all the data requests the Open Data User Group has received since we launched the data request mechanism last September, and their current status. It is important that we are as transparent as possible about the work we are doing with Cabinet Office and the Data Strategy Board on the data requests we receive. We plan to publish regular updates to this dashboard as we work on releasing the requested data.
As you can see from the dashboard, since the launch of the ODUG data request form on data.gov.uk there has been a steady flow of requests, with more than 240 now submitted, many supported on data.gov.uk by additional comments from the data-user community.
Current progress with data requests
If you have been following ODUG’s work, you will know that we have already prioritised a number of requests for Open Data, including significant work focusing on an Open National Address Dataset – to include the Postcode Address File (PAF). We have also submitted benefits cases to the Data Strategy Board calling for Historical UK Met Office Data, Land Registry Price Paid Data, OS Derived Data (including River Network Centrelines and Public Rights of Way) and the VAT Register to be made Open Data.
Following our call for an Open National Address Dataset, the Data Strategy Board has made a recommendation to Ministers for further analysis of the feasibility of introducing a free national address database. This analysis is under way and expected to report in early April. Meanwhile, ODUG is working with the data holders on the other priority requests mentioned above.
At a recent ODUG meeting we identified a second tranche of data requests for ODUG members to focus on, including Cadastral Land Polygons, Charity Commission Registers, DVLA Bulk Data and Energy Performance Certificates.
The balance of the data requests, where ODUG is not building a specific high-priority benefits case, are not being left to languish. They are being progressed in other ways – for example in some cases the data may already be released and the requester can be directed to it; in other cases Cabinet Office officials are taking the requests forward directly with individual government departments.
The status now attached to each of the data requests on data.gov.uk (detailed below) will allow you to track the progress we are making. So far, aside from the work ODUG is doing on the more complex benefits cases, 17 data requests have been fully resolved resulting in two new datasets released. This is not as much progress as I had hoped we might have made by now – and does not reflect the amount of work happening behind the scenes. You should checkthe Data Request Roadmap for improved progress over the next few months so you can hold us to account for the results we achieve.
Here are some pointers on the numbers of data requests reported (as there will be anomalies between the numbers on the Data Request Roadmap and the public list of requests on data.gov.uk)
Time lags – new data requests on data.gov.uk are periodically loaded into the Data Request Roadmap so the latest data requests might not yet appear in the aggregated view.
Confidential data requests - submitters can submit private requests; this means in practical terms that they don’t appear on the data.gov.uk website, but ODUG can read them and action them as any other request. We have started indicating the number of these requests on data.gov.uk, so that there is transparency on the total number of requests we are handling, whilst observing the confidentiality of such requests. Around 1 in 5 requests are submitted confidentially, so they make up a significant part of the total number.
Legacy requests - You may remember the “Unlocking Service” previously available on data.gov.uk. When ODUG launched the new data request form in September last year it replaced this previous mechanism. As part of this transition ODUG discovered a large number of data requests which had been submitted previously and we have trawled these to identify which of these legacy data requests we should bring forward into our ODUG roadmap. These will be added to the dashboard soon.
Some pointers on how to use the dashboard:
- The default dashboard shows all the data requests ODUG has received to date.
- We have a set of filters down the left-hand side to help you find the data requests you are interested in.
- The visualisation of the roadmap shows the organisations or individuals who have submitted data requests over time.
- Under the roadmap visualisation there are a series of bar charts which allow you to filter the request of the details relating to the request. If you hover on any of the charts or graphs a pop up will show counts and details related to that part of the chart or graph.
- At the bottom of the dashboard each request related to the filter selected is shown. The exception to this is those requests which have been raised confidentially, where only our internal ODUG number and the current status is displayed. These can also be selected as part of the privacy filter above the ‘Request Details’ chart. This chart can also be used to see the data requests which are currently being built into business cases with the Data Strategy Board.
- Finally, we have added the green Data Request button on the right-hand side of the dashboard to link directly through to the Open Data User Group Data Request form, as we would like to encourage you to tell us what government data you or your business needs.
I am pleased that we are now able to achieve this level of transparency about the work underway to help release more Open Data, and I encourage anyone and everyone to keep posting their data requests and comments which are helping us build the evidence base for the further release of Open Data.
Enjoy the visualisation tool and if you have any specific queries and comments which you would like to make about the dashboard please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair Open Data User Group
For information - Summary of data request statuses
- Awaiting status - Any submitted request is given this status as it appears in the list of data requests. It means that the request is in the process of being assessed for action.
- Not a data request or a data issue - This status is applied to requests that are not a request for a dataset or it is a request for data that sits outside the ODUG's remit. This could be data that is not owned by the public sector, or is not funded by public money.
- Escalated due to quality/format issue - This is applied to data requests that are either already in the public domain, but for reasons relating to quality (format, out of date, broken links, etc) are not available for re-use. It will also be applied to data requests where a body like a Sector Transparency Board has been involved in negotiating the release of the request. It also applies to data requests where the data is not currently released on the stated grounds of commercial confidentiality, licensing restrictions or privacy.
- Dataset scheduled for release - This is a status applied to data requests where the data asked for are already scheduled for release, either in a department’s Open Data Strategy, or some other public commitment.
- ODUG developing business case - This status applies to data requests where ODUG will develop a benefits case of the benefits of releasing the data.
- Dataset released - This means that the data request has been successful and that the requested data is now available as open data.
- Dataset not released - This means that the data could not be released, and an explanation as to why will be posted.