This page provides status reports about additions or changes to the data.wa.gov open government data portal. Most of these developments have been discussed in the Open Data Advisory Group of Washington state agency data publishers. Visit the WaTech website for more information about the Advisory Group and upcoming meetings. If you have questions about these updates or the state's open data program, please contact Matt King, privacy and open data manager, Office of Privacy and Data Protection (WaTech).
Retiring Older Content
Over the past decade, the data.wa.gov portal has amassed more than 3,000 public assets, including datasets, maps, charts, and other content from dozens of state government agencies. Many of the assets are not current, lack documentation or have otherwise outlived their use. Working with the Open Data Advisory Group, the open data program established a data removal procedure and has been identifying assets to retire. The procedure will initially be used to remove a significant batch of assets, then on an ongoing basis for regular review and maintenance.
- What: Approximately 1,000 assets, most created between 2012 and 2016. These assets are tagged with "[to be removed]" for at least 30 days before taken out of public view, and then retained another 45 days before being removed completely from the portal. A new open dataset will track all retirements, to keep the process transparent.
- When: The first of these older assets were removed from public view in June 2021, after a 30-day notice period. Most of the older assets are expected to be removed from public view by September 30, 2021. (Updated July 30, 2021)
Requiring More Core Metadata
Consistent descriptions, categories, column definitions and other core documentation (metadata) make assets easier to find and use, but this content has historically been optional for data.wa.gov publishers. (Only a title has been required until now.) In consultation with the Open Data Advisory Group, the open data program will require the following metadata be completed for all new assets, starting September 1, 2021.
- Attribution (Data provided by)
- Time period covered
- Posting frequency
- Email contact
- Column descriptions
The new requirement will apply only to new assets and updates. The open data program will work with publishers to fill in core metadata for existing content. Notice will be sent to all current data owners in the beginning of August.
Additional metadata elements and improvements will be considered in the future. Licensing metadata will be encouraged, but not required until options are better clarified. Some Advisory Group members also raised concerns that additional metadata may add little value if publishers use inconsistent naming conventions. As more assets include completed metadata, the open data program will explore opportunities for additional standardization of fields like Attribution and Posting Frequency, and more consistency for tags. (Updated July 30, 2021)
Better Access to Analytics
Data.wa.gov's analytics have evolved over the past year to provide much more detailed information on content access (hourly views, downloads or API access), referring sites, and search terms. However, only users with an administrator role can access the full analytics data. The open data program is working with the vendor to open more of this information to other user accounts with an editor or publisher role, as well as the public at large. A public analytics dataset and associated tools are under development. (Updated July 30, 2021)
2021 Recertification of Open Data Plans Due October 1
Under OCIO Policy 187, Washington state agencies must implement and maintain an Open Data Plan that outlines how the agency will routinely work to make open data publicly available. The plan must be revised or re-affirmed, and reported to OCIO, annually by October 1. The report may be published online or e-mailed to OCIO (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Although the OCIO's 2021 Annual Technology Certification will not include a specific question on open data planning, revisions or re-affirmations are still due October 1. (Updated July 30, 2021)
A dashboard of key performance indicators for the open data program and data.wa.gov content is under development.
Among other things, the dashboard will filter content by category and type, track metadata completion and identify what content gets the most attention. The dashboard will eventually also track open data planning among Washington state agencies. (Updated July 30, 2021)