Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 30 November 2015

Theme

Score

Data management processes

11 / 20

Knowledge & skills

5 / 10

Customer support & engagement

8 / 20

Investment & financial performance

5 / 15

Strategic oversight

6 / 10

Total

35 / 75
Download summary scores

Theme

Activity

Score

Goal

Data management processes

  • Data release process 4 3
  • Standards development & adoption 4 3
  • Data governance 4 3
  • Managing sensitive data 3 2

Knowledge & skills

  • Open data expertise 4 3
  • Knowledge management 3 2

Customer support & engagement

  • Engagement process 3 2
  • Open data documentation 3 2
  • Re-user support processes 3 2
  • Community norms 3 2

Investment & financial performance

  • Financial oversight 3 2
  • Dataset valuation process 3 2
  • Open data in procurement 3 1

Strategic oversight

  • Open data strategy 5 4
  • Asset catalogue 3 2
Download activity scores

Theme

Activity

Answers

Do you have a standardised release process for datasets?

Yes, there is a defined process that we follow to release data

Additional info

Robust processes are in place but currently not standardised throughout Defra. Defra Data Programme will address this and deliver standard robust data release processes across the Department.

How widely adopted is your release process?

The process has been adopted to support the release of some datasets, e.g. recently published data

Do you publish a release schedule for your datasets?

No, we don't have a release schedule

Additional info

We have a partial release schedual for a proportion of our data

Has your organisation published any open data?

Yes, we have published at least one dataset under an open licence

Additional info

Yes, we publish our open data under OLG on data.gov.uk

How widely adopted are these technical standards in your organisation?

There are organisation-wide standards. These have been adopted for some datasets

Have you used technical standards to inform how you publish data or APIs?

Yes, we have identified a set of technical standards relevant to our data releases

Additional info

Defra uses code lists but adoption is patchy. These are developed through Defra's registry services -Defra's registry services

Defra uses code lists but adoption is patchy. INSPIRE standards are used to publish spatial data.

Does your organisation use standard code lists when publishing data?

Yes, our datasets do make use of standard code lists

Additional info

Defra's Code list registry

Defra uses code lists but adoption is patchy. These are developed through Defra's registry services

How widely adopted are these code lists?

They have been applied to some, but not all applicable datasets

Do your dataset assets have a clear owner within the organisation?

Yes, there is a well-defined owner for each dataset

Additional info

Information asset owners have been identified for key datasets, but ownership is not clear for all data.

How widely adopted are your data governance processes?

The organisation has defined a data governance process, but this has been adopted only for some datasets

Additional info

Governance process are currently in place for key datasets, but not for all data.

Does your organisation have processes for managing or governing datasets?

Yes, there are data governance processes, although they may not be standardised

Additional info

Defra has adoped a Data Governance Board to oversee the management of data at a strategic level

Have you had to remove any sensitive data from a dataset prior to release?

Yes, we have had to remove sensitive data from a dataset prior to releasing it

Additional info

For example, personal data is removed before publication of "The family food survey".

There are a small number of examples where sensitive data is removed - for example to remove personal data. This process is overseen by the Data Governance Board.

What is your approach to removing sensitive data?

Processes are ad hoc and are defined around the needs of specific data releases

Additional info

We adapt the approach to the data and the risk. We follow best practice approaches where appropriate.

Is open data awareness and training a standard part of staff induction?

No, this is not covered as part of induction

Additional info

Apart from a high level indication from awareness setting of the Defra corporate objectives.

Does your organisation provide any training to support the development of open data related skills?

Yes, certain skills are recognised as important to develop more broadly in the organisation

Additional info

Training is not planned at an organisational level and tends to be ad hoc. Defra have specialist data skills scatter across the organisation.

What is your approach for building open data expertise within the organisation?

We have a more tactical approach, e.g. we have identified key skills that require further development

How does your organisation approach knowledge management?

We have organisational policies relating to knowledge capture and transfer

Additional info

KM policies are set out on Defra's intranet and ensure a basic level of KM across Defra

When does knowledge capture happen?

Primarily at the end of a project

Do you attempt to engage with re-users of your data?

Yes, we make some attempts to engage with re-users

Additional info

Air quality user engagement example

We do engage, but not in a consistent manner. For example we engaged with re-users of air quality data at a hack in March 2015

Do you have a standard process for engaging with external re-users?

No, outreach is done on an ad hoc basis

Do you have a means by which re-users can request data for release?

Yes, we have a well-defined contact point for data requests

Additional info

Data requests on data.gov.uk

open@defra.gsi.gov.uk is the contact point where re-users can request data.

Do you have a check-list or standard template that guides the creation of dataset documentation?

No, it is left up the data owner to decide what documentation to include

Additional info

we have some standard approaches but it is possible for business areas to chose alternatives

Do you try to include some level of documentation when releasing data?

Yes, an appropriate level of documentation accompanies each dataset

Additional info

There is always simple metadata to aid discoverability. however, we currently have an ad-hoc approach to the provision of more detail documentation

Is the level of support available for a dataset clearly indicated to re-users?

No, we don't communicate any expectations around our support operation

Do you provide any support for re-users?

Yes, we offer some support to re-users

Additional info

Meta data includes abstract on the data and a contact point for help etc.

Do you acknowledge all datasets your organisation uses, regardless of whether this is required by licensing?

No, we only attribute as required

Do you have a standard process to ensure that you have the right to publish data provided by or derived from third parties as part of your open data?

Yes, we have a process of reviewing rights and ensure that our usage complies with those rights

Additional info

We have a risk assessment process to allow us to assess suitability for publication, including checking for any 3rd party derived data. We are firming up these processes.

Does your organisation use any third-party open data?

Yes, we are consuming one or more open datasets

Additional info

A wide range of open data is consumed, for example Ordnance Survey open data, open data from other Government Departments, and also from the voluntary sector e.g. RSPB.

How are open data releases funded within your organisation?

Individual projects may have budget allocated for open data

Does your organisation attempt to assign a value to datasets?

Yes, we make some attempts to identify or describe how our open data is valuable

Additional info

Typically after release, to justify the cost of ongoing investment, rather than at the start of the process when the dataset is being created.

When do you assign a value to datasets?

Prior to release to help prioritise releases or build business cases

Additional info

In some cases we will asign value prior to release in other cases after release

How do you go about assigning value to datasets?

Valuations are not quantified, instead value is described in terms of the general benefits to re-users

Additional info

In some cases valuations are quantified

What is your approach for publishing open data when your rights in the data are unclear?

We have chosen not to release data as open data where we are uncertain about rights

Additional info

We are clear on the rights for a large proportion of our data, where we are unclear we have a process for firming up these issues. When unclear we hold back from publishing while we investigate.

Has the organisation set measurable targets for assessing performance against strategy?

Yes

Additional info

Yes, the Open Data Strategy includes measurable targets although these are limited currently

Is there understanding around how open data publishing aligns with your organisation's strategy?

The organisation has a defined open data strategy

Additional info

Defra open data strategy

Defra's Corporate Strategy has data and open data as a cross cutting theme that underpins all our corporate objectives. We have also published an Open Data Strategy which we will update as we develop our wider data programme implimentation.

Is there clear responsibility and budget support for delivering the open data strategy?

Yes

Additional info

In the November 2015 Spending Review, Defra were awarded funding to deliver ICT transformation and £9m specifically for delivery of the Data Strategy.

Does the organisation have a process for reviewing the alignment of its open data strategy with wider goals?

No

Additional info

The Data Strategy is part of a wider strategy to transform Defra and will build this

Does your organisation attempt to catalogue its data assets?

Yes, we attempt to catalogue our data assets

Additional info

Defra will have a corporate catalogue in place by by April 2016.

How widely are data assets catalogued?

Individual business units maintain their own lists of assets

Theme

Activity

Improvements

How widely adopted is your release process?

The process has been adopted to support the release of some datasets, e.g. recently published data

  1. Create a plan to introduce your standard process to support the release of all datasets. Prioritise the introduction of the plan based on the individual datasets.
  2. Create and share documentation internally so that users understand how the process operates.

Do you publish a release schedule for your datasets?

No, we don't have a release schedule

  1. Create a release schedule for your datasets. Ideally this should include a list of both forthcoming datasets and dates when updates to existing datasets will be available.

How widely adopted are these technical standards in your organisation?

There are organisation-wide standards. These have been adopted for some datasets

  1. Define a plan for increasing adoption of standards across the organisation. For example by making a review of suitable standards a part of the data governance and release processes.

How widely adopted are these code lists?

They have been applied to some, but not all applicable datasets

  1. Produce a plan for introducing your standard codes and identifiers to all of your datasets.
  2. Ensure that your data governance process includes a step to review and select appropriate code lists and identifiers when constructing new datasets.

How widely adopted are your data governance processes?

The organisation has defined a data governance process, but this has been adopted only for some datasets

  1. Create a plan to increase adoption of the governance process across the organisation.
  2. Identify which datasets could benefit most from the adoption of your standard governance process and prioritise adoption accordingly.

What is your approach to removing sensitive data?

Processes are ad hoc and are defined around the needs of specific data releases

  1. Review third-party guidance around anonymisation and data sharing to identify best practices.
  2. Review existing processes to identify common techniques and approaches that can be re-used internally.

Is open data awareness and training a standard part of staff induction?

No, this is not covered as part of induction

  1. Identify and deliver an appropriate briefing on open data topics and best practices as part of staff induction.

What is your approach for building open data expertise within the organisation?

We have a more tactical approach, e.g. we have identified key skills that require further development

  1. Adopt a more strategic view of training needs by developing a programme of training for new starters and existing staff.

When does knowledge capture happen?

Primarily at the end of a project

  1. Update your standard project lifecycle to embed knowledge management, ensuring that information is collected and shared at every stage.

Do you have a standard process for engaging with external re-users?

No, outreach is done on an ad hoc basis

  1. Identify where in the process of releasing and updating your open data, engagement with users would be useful.
  2. During your release process, incorporate steps for communicating with re-users, and for ongoing follow-up subsequent to the release of a dataset.

Do you have a check-list or standard template that guides the creation of dataset documentation?

No, it is left up the data owner to decide what documentation to include

  1. Review the type and structure of the dataset documentation you are currently publishing.
  2. Ensure that a common base set of documentation accompanies each open data release.

Is the level of support available for a dataset clearly indicated to re-users?

No, we don't communicate any expectations around our support operation

  1. Ensure that the support available for datasets is clearly documented, e.g. contact points are well signposted and that the appropriate expectations are set for turnaround times for requests for support.

Do you acknowledge all datasets your organisation uses, regardless of whether this is required by licensing?

No, we only attribute as required

  1. Be transparent about all of the open data your organisation uses, especially those from the public domain that may not legally require attribution.

How are open data releases funded within your organisation?

Individual projects may have budget allocated for open data

  1. Review budgets for all projects and, where appropriate, ensure that costs are allocated for ongoing release of open data.
  2. Review the actual costs associated with open data releases to provide a baseline for future projects and releases.

How do you go about assigning value to datasets?

Valuations are not quantified, instead value is described in terms of the general benefits to re-users

  1. Identify some financial metrics that could be used to quantify the value gained by users of your data.
  2. Identify financial metrics that can be used to quantify the cost savings associated with releasing your data.

What is your approach for publishing open data when your rights in the data are unclear?

We have chosen not to release data as open data where we are uncertain about rights

  1. Clarify rights around existing data, e.g. by amending contracts on renewal or asking contributors to sign a contributor agreement.
  2. Tailor new contracts and procurement activities to ensure re-use rights for data is clear.

Does the organisation have a process for reviewing the alignment of its open data strategy with wider goals?

No

  1. Institute a regular review of your open data policies and strategy to ensure that it aligns with organisational goals.

How widely are data assets catalogued?

Individual business units maintain their own lists of assets

  1. Create an organisation wide asset catalogue that lists all key datasets and clearly identifies where they are managed and used.

Assessor:Tim Ashelford

Completed on Tuesday, 12th January 2016

Started on Friday, 11th December 2015

This assessment was carried out in November 2015, assessing the maturity of Defra. In undertaking the assessment we have recognised the need to assess different work areas separately in the future as we drive improvement. We would welcome feedback on the assessments made and approaches taken