May 17, 2022

The Data Foundation Publishes “The State of the Union of Open Data” (3rd Ed.)

From The Data Foundation:

2019-01-24_15-38-21The Data Foundation and Grant Thornton’s Public Sector practice today released the third edition of The State of the Union of Open Data, which draws on 33 in-depth interviews with senior government and private-sector leaders.

This year’s report surveyed leaders in the open data world about the current landscape in three categories: data standardization, publication and sharing, and use.

“Our annual report seeks to inform the public’s understanding of open data’s history and current trends and highlight the perspectives of open data leaders,” said Sarah Joy Hays, interim president of the Data Foundation. “For three consecutive years, our survey on The State of the Union of Open Data indicates that open data is making strides. Its benefits are exponential: open data use can be applied to many different sectors of society and government, including healthcare, housing, education, and national defense.”

“Open data has grown well beyond its original applications in government. Increased standardization, sharing, and most importantly, use of open data has resulted in greater efficiency of government programs, expanded transparency, and better results,” said Adam Hughes, director of marketing and government affairs for Grant Thornton’s Public Sector practice. “We know from experience the expanded use of open data as reflected in this year’s report will help accelerate improvements in government programs and services and allow agency leaders to make better decisions about how to allocate scarce government resources.”

Key Findings:

Nearly 84 percent of respondents reported progress on data standardization at their agency or organization in the past year, compared with 81.8 percent last year.

Nearly 85 percent of survey respondents reported improved data publication or sharing at their agency or organization in the past year, versus 76.2 percent in last year’s report.

Almost all – 96.9 percent – respondents say data use for informed decision-making and insight has improved at their agency or organization over the past year.

93.6 percent of respondents indicate they believe standardization, sharing, and open data use will improve in the immediate future, compared with 79.2 percent of 2017 respondents.

Survey respondents identify internal management as the leading benefit of open data, followed by transparency and automated reporting.


A standardized survey instrument was used to draw a set of common responses, with some survey questions repeated from the previous year to illuminate changes. Interviewees were also encouraged to provide context and additional observations to enrich the standardized response.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.