8 Countries Ranked on Open Data Progress

A new report ranks top G8 nations based on their signed agreement for open data success.

by / March 25, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks with leadership of eight nations at the June 2013 G8 Summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland. Flickr/G8 UK

In June 2013, the G8 nations signed an agreement to support open data, and those nations have since been rated on their follow-up efforts -- with the United Kingdom taking the top spot, and Canada and the U.S. tied for second.

A new report published this month by the Center for Data Innovation, a data advocacy group in Washington, D.C., ranked these eight nations -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia (which exited the group in 2014) on their committment to upholding five open data principles.

The first three principles were pledges to institutionalize open data by default policies, increase the quality and quantity of open data sets, and to ensure accessibility of data through meta data and open licenses. The final two principles underscored open data efforts for governance and data innovation.

Scores were awarded out of 100 (each principle worth 20 points). The top three were relatively close, however, nations showed notable disparities as seen in the rankings:

  1. United Kingdom - 90
  2. United States - 80,
  3. Canada - 80
  4. France - 65
  5. Italy - 35
  6. Japan - 30
  7. Germany - 25
  8. Russia - 5

The U.S. lost the lead after points were deducted for its support of data innovation, or lack thereof. In this category, the U.S. scored 10 points out of 20 for its lack of promotion and funding of open data innovation initiatives. Conversely, however, the U.S. had perfect scores for its open data by default policies and the quality and quantity of its open data.

At the bottom of the list is Russia, rated lowest for its absence — or complete disregard — for freedom of information policies in general. The authors, CDI Director Daniel Castro and Analyst Travis Korte, said the country’s leadership is mired with transparency barriers that “loom large in the shortcomings of its open data efforts.”

“In particular, the country has a long way to go before it lives up to the G8 Open Data Charter’s principles around the principle of 'open by default,' and its efforts to engage with civil society and the private sector to prioritize data releases,” the two said.

For a complete breakdown of points and individual assessments of countries, see the complete report here.