Open data subject is the key one in Russia’s informatization policy

15 december 2014

“The Analytical Center has held events on open data and the open data portal. Today we are going to focus on the reason why open data is needed, delve into the matter of economic viability and the effect which its implementation caused” said the Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Vasily Pushkin leading off the conference “Implementation and use of open data for economic development: Russian and foreign practices".

"The conference is held in conjunction with our foreign experts, who arrived in Moscow to share experience in implementing projects on open data. This experience will be useful for us to understand why data should be disclosed”, said the expert.

During the conference experts discussed current situation in realization of open data concepts in the Russian Federation and prospects of apps development with the use of these concepts. Moreover experts analyzed research data on the open data initiatives realization in Russia.

Today the open data subject is a key one in Russia’s informatization policy, considers the Deputy Director of the Department of State Regulation in Economics of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Pavel Malkov. During the project realization the main informative and regulatory framework was formed, recommendations on content publishing were adopted, the Open Data Portal of the Russian Federation, several specialized regional portals and sections of open data in regulatory authorities and local government were created, according to the official. There are three options of data placement: through an open data section on an official website of a government agency (most often used by federal government agencies), through an open data portal of state agencies or local governments (typically used by regions), or through the open data portal of the Russian Federation. "The portal was launched in March 2014. Its key purpose is to provide an integrated resource for information on all issued data sets. The portal also serves as a platform for communication of all parties involved, and the placed data set is standards-compliant", said Mr. Malkov.

The project is developing positively, but there are issues which should be solved, according to the official. "The quality of open data placed is very low, the technical support is not available, the information updated is ill-timed", said Mr. Malkov. That happens because state officials do not understand how to work with data, and the market of open data is in the process of formation. Next year a pilot project on data binding will be held, that will be the first time when several sets of open data will be bound, said the official.

The conference presented foreign experts’ research results on improvement of productivity and stimulation of innovations through the open data use, efficiency of their performance for economic growth and the involvement of business in the use of open information. Thus, the partner of McKinsey Francesco di Marcello presented the output of the report "Productivity improvement and innovations stimulation through open data". The use of open data can simplify the work in various spheres of life: business, healthcare, manufacturing, and others, considers the expert. "In the transport sector infrastructure planning and geolocation conditions can be improved, customer service on the road can be predicted", said the expert. However, it is important to ensure the safety of the open data use and does not violate the intellectual property, says Francesco di Marcello.

American expert, evangelist of data.gov portal Jeanne Holm gave examples of business involvement in the use of open data and described the companies’ construction on the basis of data in the US. "Citizens and businesses need the state to provide more information of better quality. This is to ensure transparency, economic development and citizens’ participation in governance”, considers the expert. The open data publication and use help citizens to make more well-grounded decisions, according to the expert.

The discussion touched upon a future development of apps with the use of open data. For now mass services are going through rough times as they are only adopting the open data path. To make the work fast and of high standards, services need completeness, antecedence and information relevance and also their engine-readable format.

Open data is a major source of economic growth, development of innovative SMEs, so it is important to develop the potential of open data in regions of Russia, noted experts summarizing the conference.