Challenges of open data

The following post is an excerpt from my thesis entitled Linked open data for public sector information.
Open data not only opens new opportunities, it also opens new challenges. These challenges point to the limits of openness and to shortcomings of the approaches used to put linked open data in practice in the public sector.
The top 10 barriers and potential risks for adoption of open data in the public sector, which were compiled by Noor Huijboom and Tijs van den Broek [1, p. 7], comprise of the following.
  • closed government culture
  • privacy legislation
  • limited quality of data
  • limited user-friendliness/information overload
  • lack of standardisation of open data policy
  • security threats
  • existing charging models
  • uncertain economic impact
  • digital divide
  • network overload
Some of these challenges will be discussed in detail in the following blog posts. In particular, this section will cover the difficulties that may be encountered during implementation of linked open data, information overload and the problems of scalable processing of large, heterogeneous datasets, usability of raw data, issues for protection of personal data, deficiencies in data quality, adverse effects of open data on trust in the public sector, and finally the unresolved question of opening data obtained via public procurement.


  1. HUIJBOOM, Noor; VAN DEN BROEK, Tijs. Open data: an international comparison of strategies. European Journal of ePractice [online]. March/April 2011 [cit. 2012-04-30], no. 12. Available from WWW: http://www.epractice.eu/files/European%20Journal%20epractice%20Volume%2012_1.pdf. ISSN 1988-625X.

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