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A well-executed open data platform can help to reform government and make it more efficient. This reports sets out what city governments need to do in order for that to happen.


  • Use open data to cut costs and improve services.
  • Cities need to take responsibility for data quality.
  • Good presentation supports good use of open data.

Features and Benefits

  • Identifies what city governments need to do with their data in order to set up effective open data platforms.
  • Demonstrates how open data can be used to reform city government in order to cut costs and improve services.

Key questions answered

  • What do local authorities need to do to successfully establish their own open data platforms?
  • How can open data be used to make city governments more efficient?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for governments

Use open data to cut costs and improve services

  • Open data informs policy, cuts waste, and shares good practice
  • Open data supports data-based policy-making
  • Transparency exposes waste
  • Open data helps identify best practice

Cities need to take responsibility for data quality

  • Good data handling is essential
  • Bad data is costly
  • Don’t rely on volunteers to do your job for you
  • Data can and should be managed locally
  • National governments should support poor cities’ open data initiatives
  • Be honest about data quality – even bad data should be open

Good presentation supports good use of open data

  • Presentation matters
  • Data must be machine-readable and human-readable
  • Visualization makes data more accessible


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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