Publishing Open Data is not just about technology, standards, or process. A key component is engaging with both English and French-speaking data users and the community of data custodians, enthusiasts, and policy makers to ensure the data can be accessed and used effectively.

An Open Data Engagement Plan should be developed by each ministy and provincial agency to promote and communicate the value and benefits of open data. If your Open Data Engagement plan includes hosting data visualization tools on your own or a third party website, best practice is that the website would include a link back to the original dataset in the Data catalogue.

For more information on how to participate in open data events and communities interested in open data, contact your minitry’s OGO Support Team members. Here are some tips and guiding questions to help facilitate engagement with open data. They are designed to provoke thought and action.

  1. Work within the Ontario Public Service, Broader Public Service and with the public and stakeholders to assist in identifying and prioritizing the release of datasets at the community, regional and provincial levels to support social research and planning.
    • Are your choices about the data you release, the structure of the data, and the tools and support provided with it based on community needs and demands?
    • Do you have ways of listening to people’s requests for data, and responding with open data?
    • What was the ranking of your datasets on the voting tool?
  2. Work with industry stakeholders to raise awareness of the economic potential of open data and to prioritize the release of Datasets to support economic activities.
    • Who are the key users of the data?
    • How are they using the data?
    • Do you have a sense of the benefits they are deriving from using Ontario’s data?
  3. Promote data literacy within educational programs and tools in ministries/provincial agencies under the guidance of TBS.
    • Are you aware of initiatives and courses to build skills with data analyses and literacy?
    • Do you provide open data analysis tools and guidance on using the tools?
    • Do you promote, enable and create capacity to help ministry staff and the community work with open data?
  4. Promote the use of government data and digital applications and services with stakeholders.
    • Once published, do you promote your datasets using a variety of external and internal communications channels?
    • Who would be interested in knowing about and having access to your data?
    • Are you aware of any digital applications that have been developed with the types of datasets you manage?
  5. Evaluate the potential of sharing the data internally and/or with relevant external organizations in secure environments whenever government data cannot be broadly shared as Open Data.
    • For datasets that cannot be relased as Open Data, are there opportunities to share with others within the OPS?
    • Are you aware of Statistics Canada Research Data Centres? Are there opportunities to work with them?
  6. TBS will coordinate with stakeholders and other levels of government to increase the interoperability and relevance of data. This includes collecting community input, feedback and improving Open Data quality standards.
    • Can people comment on datasets, or create a structured conversation regarding data to network with other data users?
    • Do you know where the conversations are happening? Do you join the conversations?
    • Do you have feedback loops so people can help you improve your datasets?
    • Do you collaborate with the community to create new data resources (e.g. derived datasets)?