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Measuring Open Data Maturity

Measuring open data maturity can be a way to drive a culture of continuous improvement. This section presents two options for assessing and improving open data maturity:

  • Option 1 is an agency-level assessment tool that enables organisations to benchmark how well they govern, manage, publish and consume open data. 
  • Option 2 provides a simple set of criteria for assessing the accessibility and usability of individual datasets. 

Both tools add value to agencies who are looking to measure and improve their corporate data Maturity iconpractices, cultures and use.  

By using this tool to measure data maturity agencies can: 

  • Benchmark their data practice 
  • Identify specific areas for improvement 
  • Develop practical strategies for development 
  • Track progress towards the vision outlined in the NSW Open Data Policy. 

Maturity model option 1:  Organisational open data maturity 

This model is based on a model developed by the Open Data Institute and focuses on an organisation’s capacity and support for data maturity.  The model assesses 15 actions across 5 themes. The themes are: data management processes, knowledge and skills, customer support and engagement, investment and financial performance, and strategic engagement. Agencies should download the Open Data Institute’s more detailed assessment grid for full definitions of each theme and action area, in order to complete maturity level assessments.

The following maturity assessment implementation recommendations can help to scope an agency’s maturity assessment into a program of work: 

  1. Identify an organisational lead for the maturity assessment — a thorough assessment will likely require input from across the organisation but there should be a clear lead.
  2. Identify the scope — the maturity model can be used to assess individual departments or an organisation. We recommend beginning with an assessment of the whole organisation. 
  3. Identify key participants — which people in the organisation may need to be involved to help answer specific questions or support the evaluation? 
  4. Assess and score each activity — using the assessment grid, review each activity and identify the level of maturity achieved. To qualify at a specific maturity level, the organisation should exhibit all of the described behaviours. 
  5. Set appropriate targets — having conducted a baseline assessment, identify appropriate targets for improvement. This will involve either maintaining or improving the score for specific activities. 
  6. Develop an action plan —based on the results and the targets, identify a plan for implementing improvements. 
  7. Circulate results — share the results, targets and action plan within the organisation, including to those involved in supporting the assessment. Senior management support and review will be essential in helping to implement improvements. An organisation may also wish to share its results more widely. 
  8. Set a date for next assessment — the action plan should set a date for a further assessment. This will allow the organisation to monitor its progress. 

Maturity model option 2: Five Star Plus  

This self-assessment model uses the criteria to assess the accessibility, processability and useability of individual datasets. A star is awarded at each level of maturity, with a maximum of five stars+ (plus) being awarded to a dataset when all six criteria are achieved. Each level of maturity includes the benefits and criteria of the lower levels. The relevant star rating is then applied to the dataset when it is published as open data. 

Further information can be found on the 5 star data website


Last updated 01 Feb 2023