Open Data Institute

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Odi outside.jpg
65 Clifton Street, ODI headquarters in Shoreditch. The Open Data Institute is on the 3rd floor
Formation 2012; 3 years ago (2012)
Type Nonprofit organization
Purpose Open data
Coordinates 51°31′20″N 0°05′00″W / 51.522118°N 0.083351°W / 51.522118; -0.083351Coordinates: 51°31′20″N 0°05′00″W / 51.522118°N 0.083351°W / 51.522118; -0.083351

The Open Data Institute (ODI) is a non-profit private company limited by guarantee, based in the United Kingdom.[2] The ODI is:

catalysing the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It helps unlock supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues.[3]

Since the opening of the Open Data Institute, the organization has been overwhelmed with requests to set up similar versions of the organization around the world. This has led to the development of nodes around the world, which have adopted the same goals of spreading and developing the principles open data technology. There are currently 13 nodes acting as catalysts for open data business development and training.[4]


The Open Data Institute operates by providing public training courses, in the UK and internationally. ODI courses are provided both in house and through online services.[5] These training courses cover the area of Open and Linked Data Technologies.[6] Open Data Institute currently offers five different courses: Open Data, Law and Licensing; Open Data in a Day; Finding Stories in Open Data; Open Data in Practice; Open Data Technologies.[6] The main introductory course is 'Open Data in a Day,' which can be completed in a day. The goal of 'Open Data in a Day' is to increase the most recent developments in open data. This course is designed to allow any internet user to explore and use open data.[6] After completion of the course you will learn to: introduce open data, publish your data, learn licensing and laws, and make open data work for you.[6] In addition to offering courses, ODI offers 'Friday Lunchtime Lectures.' 'Friday Lunchtime Lectures' represent a more informal way to learn about open data. They are run weekly every Friday during UK school term times and discuss various topics surrounding the communication and application of open data.[7] These lectures are open to anyone and are held between the hours of 1:00-1:45pm.[7] ODI's website, provides a list of upcoming and past lectures.


The Open Data Institute is currently funding two research projects: DaPaaS and OpenDataMonitor


The Data-and Platform-as-a-Service project goal is to help both developers and organizations to publish data in an easy and efficient way.[8] DaPaaS combines Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Types of data include data-sets and data-intensive applications.[8] DaPaaS can help to make publishing data both cost effective and reduce the complexity of publishing and consuming.

DaPaaS's Plan[edit]

The DaPaaS will use data applications to utilize the already published open data. This is a relatively new task that has been previously difficult to accomplish due to the obstacles of publishing and consumption of data.[8] DaaS will contribute with open data infrastructure and PaaS help develop publication and consumption [9] DaPaaS UX will provide consumers with access to data through portals and mobile services.[8]

Research will create a prototype for cross-platform data consumption environment and develop a methodology and guidelines for publishing, consuming, and spreading Open Data using their new platform.

DaPaaS Outcomes[edit]

  1. Reduced cost of open data publication for SME and small organizations
  2. Reduce use of open data publishers on Cloud such as AWS and AppEngine
  3. Increase the speed of new datasets publication and updating datasets
  4. Reduce cost of application creation by utilizing their developed platform
  5. Reduce difficulty of creating applications by using new cross-platform and mobile services
  6. Increase the usage of open data that already exists


OpenDataMonitor is a resource that allows users to view available open data resources and partake in analysis and visualization of open data that already exists. In order to collect information, metadata from open data will be gathered and processed. Visualization of the data will allow for easier interpretation and comparison of open data.[10]

OpenDataMonitor's Plan[edit]

The research plan for OpenDataMonitor is to create a singular platform for looking at diverse and multilingual metadata accessible for open data sets.[10] Creating this platform will allow for better understanding of obtained information and knowledge. OpenDataMonitor will focus on service such as metadata schemas and code lists.[10] OpenDataMonitor will use CKAN’s software in order to cater to a large population. The website is the main monitoring site that allows for users to see visualizations and public access to open data resources.[10] OpenDataMonitor Demonstration Platform houses plugins and documented manuals, tutorials, and publications in order to expand the public’s understanding of the use of OpenDataMonitor.[10]


The institute is led by:[1]


The ODI Membership Program exists as a support system for ODI initiatives, and to "provide opportunities to connect with other members of the community." The two categories of membership are Supporter and Partner, each available for a different membership fee respectively. Membership includes invitations to member events such as evening networking sessions to meet others in the open data community, as well as an annual summit featuring a full program of talks and workshops. [12]


Notable members of the ODI include:[13]

Target Markets[edit]

There are four "clusters" that ODI concentrates on for their business. These clusters are:[14]

The Business Sector[edit]

With 600-800 start ups all looking to use information, this market will be essential to ODI's success in the future. With so much talent looking to use and work with ODI resources it is mutually beneficial for the Business Sector and ODI. Examples of start up companies in this area include Carbon Culture, Comufy, Red Monk, Go Squared, Sticky World, Acunu, Model Two Zero, All Global, Red Spotted Hanky, i3 Education Services. Some of the challenges for ODI is with the larger companies like Facebook, Google and others an environment has to be maintained that will make it possible for the smaller companies that especially rely on ODI afloat.[14]

The Public Sector[edit]

This sector can be seen as government services for citizens. ODI states in their business plan "There are significant Department Open Data interests in the Home Office Ministry of Justice, Communities and Local Government, Transport, and Health." The belief is that it is in the interest of the public to help provide the government with easier information. ODI will also play an important role in policy by playing a role in informing deliberations about open data releases and other similar tasks. Their second level of success relies strongly on their ties with Government Digital Services(GDS).[14]

The University Sector[edit]

There is not much explaining needed for the importance of establishing a presence in Universities that require large amounts of information for their research. However ODI's challenge in this sector is that it is an obvious target market for any data agency. The University of Southampton has helped to get ODI in the market but they have many other competitors looking to take other potential clients.[14]

The International Dimension[edit]

ODI stresses the importance of completing their national goals, but are smart enough to know that to truly succeed the market needs to be opened to the world. Nothing official has been set up with any markets outside of the nation, but there has been interest shown from sources in Germany, and France.[14]


The ODI currently operates a program which facilitates the growth of technology start-ups connected with the open data platform, formally referring to this as the ODI Jump Start scheme.[14] The startups can be as undeveloped as a working idea.[15] The ODI is currently working with different startups through business consultation and by providing financial assistance. The startups include Carbonculture,[16] Open Utility,[17] DataPress,[18] Demand Logic,[19] Resurgence,[20] Honest Buildings,[21] 3D Repo Ltd,[22] I Can Make,[23] Locatable,[24] Mastodon C,[25] Open Bank Project,[26] Open Corporates,[27] Open Data Soft,[28] Pesky People,[29] Place,[30] Provenence,[31] and Spend Network.[32] The ODI encourages all startups which are improving the open data initiative as potential projects for ODI. In assisting these startups, the ODI hopes to strengthen and consolidate the open data technology in the UK.[14]


A total of £10m of public funds have been pledged by the UK Technology Strategy Board to ODI from 2012 to 2017 but this funding is contingent on a similar sum being pledged by businesses.[11][33][34] A further $750,000 of funding has been provided by the Omidyar Network.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Open Data Institute, Team". Open Data Institute. 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-01-14. 
  2. ^ "Open Data Institute". OpenCorporates. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  3. ^ a b "Open Data Institute, About Us". Open Data Institute. 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-01-14. 
  4. ^ Solon, Olivia. "Open Data Institute creates 13 'Nodes' around the world". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "Open Data Institute, Jobs". Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Open Data Institute, Courses". Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Open Data Institute, Friday Lunchtime Lectures". Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Open Data Institute, DPAS". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "DaPaaS – A Data- and Platform-as-a-Service Approach to Efficient Open Data Publication and Consumption". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "OpenDataMonitor". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "BBC News - Web creator backs UK open data institute". 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  12. ^ "ODI Membership". Open Data Institute. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Members". Open Data Institute. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "Open Data Institute Business Plan" (PDF). Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "About Us". Open Data Institute. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
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  33. ^ "Government commits £10m to Open Data Institute - Government Computing Network". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  34. ^ Clarke, Gavin (2012-05-23). "Open Data Institute pours golden £10m shower on upstarts". Retrieved 2014-03-19.