Open Data: base of new services and benefits for citizens

Reuse of public-sector data is becoming an increasingly important factor in government strategies. European institutions are giving a clear push to data reuse policies as a driving force of the digital economy and a mainstay of democratic transparency. In Spain there has been a surge of private and public initiatives in recent years, all seeking to obtain the maximum benefit from public-sector information and its reuse. The idea behind this endeavor is to bring in improvements in factors as diverse and important as transparency, participation, innovation, economic growth, job generation, social benefits or aid in decision making.

Spanish government authorities have shown their readiness to push open government, based on three pillars: transparency, citizen participation and open data. As pointed out in the GMV-developed portal datos.gob.es, there are now 293 initiatives up and running, 42 of them at central-government level, 17 at regional level, 225 in local authorities and 9 in universities. Indeed, Spain is one of Europe’s most open-data-friendly countries behind only Ireland, according to a recent report by the European Data Portal. This same report claims that open data will save the public sector 1.7 billion in costs in 2020.

What is the origin of open data? What might be the benefits of exploiting it?

The special report drawn up by IT Digital Media Group has involved the participation of Gemma del Rey, Head of the Subdirectorate of the Secretary General of the Public Administration (Secretaría General de Administración Pública), and Salvador Soriano Maldonado, Coordinator of the Secretary of State Area for the Digital Advance (Área de la Secretaría de Estado para el Avance Digital), inputting organizations’ experience and collaborative arrangements and giving examples of actions that are currently underway.

On behalf of GMV, Patricia Tejado, Digital Public Service Manager of GMV’s Secure e-Solutions sector, explained the fundamental aspects to be taken onboard by any government in carrying out an open data project: drawing up a strategic plan, commitment of management and factors such as cybersecurity.