About this online course

Overview

This course empowers both policy makers and developers so they can produce better open data policies and make better use of open data.

Despite the fact that more open data is available, its potential to generate benefits is often not fully realized. The governance and use of data is complex and challenging since data is derived from a wide variety of sources. How do we ensure that open data is used effectively? Which metadata should be opened up with the dataset? How should data providers and users treat privacy issues? How can we assess data quality? Which are the best tools with which to analyze data?

To harness the power of open data new approaches are required. In order to benefit from increased transparency, greater understanding of public and private problems (through advanced data analytics), enhanced innovation and economic growth we need strong guidelines and innovative ideas for open data policy making as well as its development and use.

Take the first week for free!

Enroll now and try out before you commit to a full online learning experience
We offer you the opportunity of taking the first week for free and then upgrade to the full course by the end of the week if you judge it to be right for you. During the free week, you will be introduced to the field of open data. You will have the opportunity to define your own main open data challenge which you will use to work on during the course. You will have the opportunity to meet online other like-minded professionals who are keen to discover the power of open data and extend your network.

Who is this course for?

This course is primarily geared towards working professionals such as administrators, consultants, policy advisors, developers, government officials or professionals in agencies, think tanks, research groups that are interested in opening, governing and using open data.

Choose your own track and receive personal feedback

During week 2 and 3 of the course, you can choose to follow a track of your choice. It is also possible to follow both tracks. Participants will receive feedback on the case developed in the final assignment.

Policy Track: Develop better open data policies

Aimed at policy makers in the area of open data, the overall learning objective of this track is that you will be able to develop open data policies and apply them in practice.

After taking this track, you will be able to:

  • Analyze and overcome challenges associated with open data governance and use for a specific open data policy
  • Develop elements of an open data policy
  • Create proposals or projects based on innovative ways of using open data
  • Critically evaluate practical open data cases
  • Apply the knowledge in your work by creating elements of an open data policy, taking into account the issues and challenges surrounding open data policy creation.

Watch sample video lecture: The use of open data for public policy making

Developer Track: Gain insights from open data through data analysis and visualizations

Targeting developers using open data, the overall learning objective of this track is that you will be able to apply tools for publishing and use of open data in practice.

After taking this track, you will be able to:

  • Analyze and overcome challenges associated with open data governance and use for a specific open data portal
  • Use, analyze and apply open data tools and functionalities, such as tools for data visualization and analysis, metadata formats and Linked Open Data
  • Create proposals or projects based on innovative ways of using open data
  • Critically evaluate practical open data cases
  • Apply the knowledge in your work by using and applying open data tools and functionalities, taking into account the issues and challenges surrounding open data use.

Watch sample video lecture: Data visualization and analysis


Testimonial
"I think it was a very interesting course and I learned quite a few new things. The teachers were very knowledgeable about the different subjects discussed during the course. One of my main responsibilities at the European Data Portal is stakeholder engagement and knowing what's going on in different countries and cities. Learning more about what happens in for example New York and Vienna was interesting to me. Although the focus of my work is Europe, it's interesting to learn about what other like-minded countries and cities do and how to overcome barriers. In addition, learning more about different sides on why data quality is important for re-use was also knowledge I can apply in my work."
Heleen Vollers - Senior Management Consultant


This course provides professional insights from scientific research conducted all over the world by experts in the fields of open data governance and use. The course is also enriched with the participation of specialists and representatives of leading international universities (e.g. the State University of New York, the University of Macedonia), research organizations (e.g. DANS: the Netherlands Institute for Permanent Access to Digital Research Resources), the World Wide Web Consortium and the European Data Portal (an European Commission initiative that harvests the metadata of open government data from European countries).

Details

In this course, we will examine the tools and methods required to design open data policies and to use open data tools (e.g. tools for data visualization and analysis). The lectures, assignments and discussions are focused on how the insights from this course can be applied in practice, for instance, to your own job. The course offers 2 tracks. Both include a first general module in which you will learn concepts, challenges and theoretical foundations related to open data governance and use. You will also learn how to analyze and apply data governance and use processes.

As a policy maker, you will learn to develop data policies to overcome challenges such as the provision of sufficient metadata to support open data use and privacy issues related to data sharing.

As a developer, you will learn new innovative tools to analyse open data; learn to assess data providers and data quality and create open data scenarios which can lead to new ways of using open data or new data applications. While analyzing a dataset could merely mean reading the dataset and deriving useful information, it could also refer to conducting a thorough statistical analysis by using software, such as SPSS Statistics, Weka, RapidMiner or R, which are all mentioned in the course with the latter discussed in more depth. In this course many visualization tools will be mentioned as examples (i.e. Google Charts, the Google Visualization API, CubeViz, VizBoard, CODE Linked Data Vis Wizard, etc.) but specific examples discussed in this course will be the Data Cube Model, Open Refine and R.

Practical cases

This course addresses the foundations and objectives of open data governance and examines open data policies, open data infrastructures, data sharing and opening, data use, open data use cases in Europe, America and developing countries, and best practices and recommendations for open data governance based on practical examples.

Course syllabus

Free week: Introduction (October 31-November 6, 2017)
During this week you will be introduced to the field of open data. You will define your own main open data challenge - which you will use to work on during the course - for example, as a policy maker you may want to develop aspects of an open data policy for your organization or as a developer you may want to experiment with various open data tools. You will meet and connect with other like-minded professionals who are keen to discover the power of open data. Some examples of videos used later in the course will be available to give a feeling for what the course is about.

Week 1: Open data: concepts and theory (November 7-13 , 2017)
In this week we introduce the concepts of open data governance and open data use, and discuss what it is and define its key characteristics. Moreover, we discuss challenges for open data publication and use, and thereafter we analyze the theoretical foundations in this field. Moreover, an introduction to open data policy in Europe and to data tools and functionalities of the European Data Portal will be provided. You will start working on Assignment 1, in which you will analyse challenges for open data governance and use.

Week 2: Open data governance, policies and use – Part 1 (November 14-20, 2017)
In this week, we examine open data governance, policies and use by looking at open data infrastructures, open statistical data, open data infrastructure functionalities and tools and metadata. Additionally, the policy track contains videos concerning open data for public policy making, creating a pipeline for publishing open data and licenses for the use of open government data. Moreover, the development track contains videos concerning data visualization and analysis tools, open statistical data and the data cube model, linked open data technologies, standards for spatial data on the web and Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). You will also start working on assignment 2, in which you will develop elements of an open data policy or use and apply open data tools and functionalities.

Week 3: Open data governance, policies and use – Part 2 (November 21-27, 2017)
In this week, we further examine open data governance, policies and use by looking at reliable information for open data use, semantic interoperability and ontologies, privacy aspects of data sharing and trust aspects of data sharing. Additionally, the policy track contains videos concerning open data policies, sustainability of data use and the evaluation of open data initiatives. The development track contains videos concerning Linked Open Statistical Data, using data visualization and analysis tools, technologies for improving data quality and metadata technologies.

Week 4: Open data cases (November 28-December 4, 2017)
Open data cases are central to the fourth week of the course. This week focuses specifically on cases concerning different types of data (e.g. public spending and mobility) and from different places (e.g. New York, Switzerland, Rio de Janeiro and Vienna). Moreover, you will start working on the final assignment 3 in which you will develop a scenario for an open data case.

Week 5: Conclusions (December 4-10, 2017)
This fifth week concludes the course. We reflect on all learning objectives and look ahead to the exam that needs to be completed by December 17.

Week 6: Conclusions (December 11-17, 2017)
In this week, there will be no new course materials, but this week will provide you with additional time to finalize course quizzes, assignments and the final exam.

Course instructors

Prof. Dr. Marijn Janssen is a full Professor in ICT & Governance at TU Delft and one of the leading e-government researchers in the world. He has advised the EU and various government organizations concerning their open data policy and usage.

Dr. Anneke Zuiderwijk is a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology. She holds a PhD (with honor) based on the design of open data infrastructures and has been ranked as one of the most prolific researchers in open data research by Hossain, Dwivedi and Rana (2015).

Qualifications

Certificates

If you successfully complete this course you will earn a professional education certificate and you are eligible to receive 3.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

View sample certificate

Admission

The participants of this course need to have basic knowledge of (open) data governance and use (which can be obtained through the MOOC 'Open Government').

This course has a fee of € 395 but an introductory week of this course is offered at no cost. Enroll now and try out before you commit to a full online learning experience.

Admission process
In order to complete your admission process you will be asked to upload the following document:

  • a copy of your passport or ID card (no driver's license)

Contact

If you have any questions about this course or the TU Delft online learning environment, please visit our Help & Support page.

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