For the benefits of open government data to be fully realised there needs to be a greater professionalization of information management skills within the public sector – both in terms of the quality of the data acquired/recorded and the referencing/indexing regimes applied to that data to allow multiple data sets to be interoperable and intelligible.
It was contended that the process of governments aggregating public data can be described as developing a tax payer funded data resource using public property (data collected from citizens). Offering that resource back to tax payers to use for private and commercial applications is essentially government returning that property to the citizen. It was also suggested that in the future the public sector may also seek to monetise the data it collects in the same way that social networks and private companies do today.
By 2020 governments will have realised that it takes more than rhetoric to deliver effective and transparent open government services. Currently what is available in terms of open government services and data is mainly supply driven, when in reality it needs to be driven by citizen demand. There will also be an added importance placed on mechanisms or intermediaries which make it easier for citizens to interact with open government services – given that the act of merely making such services available will be insufficient in driving citizen uptake and engagement with these services.
Governments will need to work with other organisations and partners to improve the use-ability of open government interfaces. Intermediaries can play a role in helping governments provide information which is retrievable for citizens and ensure that it is available in a way which is valuable and useful for citizens. At present a lot of potentially valuable information is buried several clicks down within the architecture of government websites.