The GovLab Index: Open Data, (Updated and Expanded)

The GovLab Index: Open Data, (Updated and Expanded)

Please find below the latest installment in The GovLab Index series, inspired by Harper’s Index. “The GovLab Index: Open Data — December 2013” provides an update on our previous Open Data installment, and highlights global trends in Open Data and the release of public sector information. Previous installments include Measuring Impact with Evidence, The Data Universe, Participation and Civic Engagement and Trust in Institutions.

Value and Impact

  • Potential global value of open data estimated by McKinsey: $3 trillion annually
  • Potential yearly value for the United States: $1.1 trillion 
  • Europe: $900 billion
  • Rest of the world: $1.7 trillion
  • How much the value of open data is estimated to grow per year in the European Union: 7% annually
  • Value of releasing UK’s geospatial data as open data: 13 million pounds per year by 2016
  • Estimated worth of business reuse of public sector data in Denmark in 2010: more than €80 million a year
  • Estimated worth of business reuse of public sector data across the European Union in 2010: €27 billion a year
  • Total direct and indirect economic gains from easier public sector information re-use across the whole European Union economy, as of May 2013: €140 billion annually
  • Economic value of publishing data on adult cardiac surgery in the U.K., as of May 2013: £400 million
  • Economic value of time saved for users of live data from the Transport for London apps, as of May 2013: between £15 million and £58 million
  • Estimated increase in GDP in England and Wales in 2008-2009 due to the adoption of geospatial information by local public services providers: +£320m
  • Average decrease in borrowing costs in sovereign bond markets for emerging market economies when implementing transparent practices (measured by accuracy and frequency according to IMF policies, across 23 countries from 1999-2002): 11%
  • Open weather data supports an estimated $1.5 billion in applications in the secondary insurance market – but much greater value comes from accurate weather predictions, which save the U.S. annually more than $30 billion
  • Estimated value of GPS data: $90 billion

Efforts and Involvement

  • Number of U.S. based companies identified by the GovLab that use government data in innovative ways: 500
  • Number of open data initiatives worldwide in 2009: 2
  • Number of open data initiatives worldwide in 2013: over 300
  • Number of countries with open data portals: more than 40
  • Countries who share more information online than the U.S.: 14
  • Number of cities globally that participated in 2013 International Open Data Hackathon Day: 102
  • Number of U.S. cities with Open Data Sites in 2013: 43
  • U.S. states with open data initiatives: 40
  • Membership growth in the Open Government Partnership in two years: from 8 to 59 countries
  • Number of time series indicators (GDP, foreign direct investment, life expectancy, internet users, etc.) in the World Bank Open Data Catalog: over 8,000
  • How many of 77 countries surveyed by the Open Data Barometer have some form of Open Government Data Initiative: over 55%
  • How many OGD initiatives have dedicated resources with senior level political backing: over 25%
  • How many countries are in the Open Data Index: 70
    • How many of the 700 key datasets in the Index are open: 84
  • Number of countries in the Open Data Census: 77
    • How many of the 727 key datasets in the Census are open: 95
  • How many countries surveyed have formal data policies in 2013: 55%
  • Those who have machine-readable data available: 25%
  • Top 5 countries in Open Data rankings: United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, New Zealand, Norway
  • The different levels of Open Data Certificates a data user or publisher can achieve “along the way to world-class open data”: 4 levels, Raw, Pilot, Standard and Expert
  • The number of data ecosystems categories identified by the OECD: 3, data producers, infomediaries, and users

Examining Datasets

  • How many datasets have been made open by governments worldwide: more than 1 million
  • Number of datasets on the U.S. site more than 90,000
  • How many released key datasets are truly open for re-use and can be used to hold government accountable, stimulate enterprise, and promote better social policy: fewer than 1 in 10
  • Percentage of datasets published in both machine-readable forms and under open licenses: less than 7%
  • Number of datasets on the Australian government’s open data website that were found to be unusable: one-third
  • Number of financial datasets in the World Bank Open Data Catalog: over 850
  • Out of 23 countries surveyed by Capgemini, those who share comprehensive data that includes both breadth and granularity: 22%
  • Those who lacked enhanced search capabilities: over 60%
  • Countries who share data that is not regularly updated: 96%
  • Those who are not utilizing user participation capabilities: 87%
  • Average score of evidence of impact in 43 countries with some form of open data policy: 1.7 out of 10
  • Percentage of impact questions for which no evidence could be found: 45%


  • Alonso, Jose. “Announcing the Global Open Data Initiative,” World Wide Web Foundation, June 11, 2013.
  • Carpenter, John and Phil Watts. “Assessing the Value of OS OpenData™ to the Economy of Great Britain – Synopsis,” Ordnance Survey, ConsultingWhere Limited and ACIL Tasman, 2013.
  • “Commission on the Weather and Climate Enterprise,” American Meteorological Society,
  • Coyne, Allie. “Govt finds one third of open data was ‘junk’,” ITnews, Nov 12, 2013.
  • “Data,” The World Bank, accessed August 29, 2013.
  • Glennerster, Rachel and Yongseok Shin. “Does Transparency Pay?” International Monetary Fund, Vol. 55, No. 1, 2008.
  • “How to Kick-Start Innovation with Free Data,” Scientific American,
  • Lippert, Catherine. “Topic Report No. 20 Public Sector Information Reuse in Denmark 2010,” European Public Sector Information Platform, 2010.
  • “Market Assessment of Public Sector Information,” Deloitte, U.K. Department for Business innovation & Skills, May 2013.
  • Open Data Barometer: 2013 Global Report,” ODI, OpenData Barometer, World Wide Web Foundation, 2013.
  • Open Data Census,” Open Knowledge Foundation, Accessed December 2013.
  • Open Data Certificate,” Open Data Institute, Accessed December 2013.
  • Open Data Index,” Open Knowledge Foundation, Accessed December 2013.
  • Open Data Sites,”, Accessed December 12, 2013.
  • Open data: Unlocking innovation and performance with liquid information,” McKinsey & Company, October 2013.
  • Shakespeare, Stephan. “Shakespeare Review: An Independent Review of Public Sector Information,” May 2013.
  • “Stimulus Funds, Transparency, and Public Trust,” United Nations e-Government Survey 2010,” 2010.
  • The Open Data Economy: Unlocking Economic Value  by Opening Government and Public Data,” Capgemini Consulting, 2013.
  • “The Value of Geospatial Information to Local Public Service Delivery in England and Wales,” Local Government Group, ConsultingWhere and ACIL Talisman, 2010.
  • Ubaldi, Barbara. “Open Government: Data Towards Empirical Analysis of Open Government Data Initiatives,” OECD Working Papers on Public Governance No. 22, OECD Publishing, 2013.
  • “Understanding the Impact of Releasing and Re-Using Open Government Data,” European Public Sector Information Platform, August 2013.
  • “Value of a Weather Ready Nation,”

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