We Need to Move On To Radical Transparency

11 november 2016

The Analytical Center launched a series of workshops for corporate owners and consumers of open data. At the first workshop, How to Correctly Publish Data on the Open Data Portal, experts discussed common errors that occur when information is published in the open data format and reviewed guidelines and publishing rules.

Vasily Pushkin, Deputy Head of the Analytical Center, explained how government agencies should structure their information systems. According to him, services, the agency’s profile and news are still among those web-site sections that get most clicks. But all data appears piecemeal and unstructured. "We need to structure the information and data in information systems by performing audit of the information systems and data that they contain as well as by revising directories that are kept in such systems,” said Pushkin. The expert firmly believes that it is necessary to start with proper management of raw data, and focus on licensing, rather than providing, services and on managing processes, rather than functions.

According to Pushkin, all currently existing obstacles can only be overcome by going through several stages. “First, it is vital to audit the information systems, train the staff and build a data handling culture," he said. “Second, we need to move on to “radical transparency” by developing a national data infrastructure, and making electronic documents a primary source.” “Third, we need to build relations with target audiences, including by ensuring feedback from them,” he added.

"The principal gap that we are going to fill soon is the lack of regulations on the Federal Open Data Portal,” said Vladimir Vakulov, a representative of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development. ”Together with the Analytical Center and the Open Government, we have already developed draft regulations on the Federal Public Information System, Open Data Portal of the Russian Federation, that set out the key goals, tasks, functionalities and interaction scenarios. We have also already determined how we will process queries and build a consolidated data-set register.”

Yuriy Linkov, Head of the Department for IT and Data Processing at the Analytical Center, provided guidelines on publishing open data and pointed out common errors. “First and foremost, you need to publish information that is very popular and highly available, but inexpensive,” the expert believes. “It is important, however, to meet requirements to data-set publication: all elements of the data-set must be available. Meta-information must include a data-set profile and structure, while the profile needs to have a clearly-defined structure, and the data-set structure, to meet all relevant requirements,” Linkov explained.

The workshops are held by the Analytical Center at request by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development to put in place the Open Data of the Russian Federation Roadmap as approved the Government Commission for the Coordination of the Open Government in its Minutes of Meeting No. 5 of June 28, 2016.