Data aggregators: a solution to open data issues


Open Knowledge International’s report on the state of open data identifies the main problems affecting open government data initiatives. These are: the very low discoverability of open data sources, which were rightfully defined as being “hard or impossible to find”; the lack of interoperability of open data sources, which are often very difficult to be utilised; and the lack of a standardised open license, representing a legal obstacle to data sharing. These problems harm the very essence of the open data movement, which advocates data easy to find, free to access and to be reutilised.

In this post, we will argue that data aggregators are a potential solution to the problems mentioned above.  Data aggregators are online platforms which store data of various nature at once central location to be utilised for different purposes. We will argue that data aggregators are, to date, one of the most powerful and useful tools to handle open data and resolve the issues affecting it.

We will provide the evidence in favour of this argument by observing how FAIR principles, namely Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability, are put into practice by four different data aggregators engineered in Indonesia, Czech Republic, the US and the EU. FAIR principles are commonly utilised as a benchmark to assess the quality of open data initiatives and good FAIR practices are promoted by policymakers.


Giuseppe Maio and Jedrzej Czarnota, Open Knowledge International, December 2017.

Date Published

December 29, 2017

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