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End of Commitment Report – Co-creating an Open Data Hub


Name of Evaluator

Stephen Sprott


Member Name

Glasgow, United Kingdom

Action Plan Title

Action plan – Glasgow, United Kingdom, 2021 – 2023


Co-creating an Open Data Hub


This commitment will deliver a co-created Open Data Hub where citizens can access, and interact with, a broad range of datasets from Glasgow City Council and partner organisations. This open data platform will provide access to not just raw datasets for communities but will provide interactive maps, dashboards, and data stories that will help communities understand what the data means. The Hub will also provide data engagement and involvement opportunities through the creation of themed initiatives. It will be linked to our Open Digital Engagement Platform. Through this Open Government Commitment, we will engage with a broad range of communities to set priorities for scaling up the publication of open data, and to co-develop data visualisations (such as interactive maps and dashboards) that can be used to inform public debate and decision-making. The expected result of this action would be that communities would have access to a broad range of datasets, informative visuals and interactive dashboards, and data stories (via story maps) that are informative and influence debate and decision-making. Within this work, we will test out the creation of ‘initiatives’ themed around particular data sets, where communities of interest come together to explore the impact.


Businesses, academics, communities, and third sector organisations identified the need for greater access to data to support innovation and information to inform debate and local decision-making. By increasing the availability of open data we plan to increase transparency, empower communities, and enable service redesign and innovation.

Section 1.
Commitment completion

1.1 What was the overall level of progress in the commitment implementation at the time of this assessment?


Provide a brief explanation of your answer:

Glasgow City Council launched a new open data hub in the Summer of 2021 via the ESRI platform – this has made data more accessible to citizens and stakeholders as the platform provides access to the data and provides tools to help visualise and story tell around the data. The Hub is available via a public URL Since 2021, the Council has continued to grow the content of the open data hub, in terms of data, apps created to help people understand the data, and stories around what the data tells us about the city. There are now 100+ data sets published on the open data hub, with around 10 new visualisation apps added to the existing 20 apps already created. A series of story maps has also been published to the hub describing data as diverse as COVID levels, footfall and cycling, and the private rental sector in the city.

1.2 Describe the main external or internal factors that impacted implementation of this commitment and how they were addressed (or not).

The scale and pace of content growth on the open data hub has been largely as expected given the resources available to manage the process. However, there have been some areas of data and content development that have been slower than hoped for – this has largely resulted from hesitancy to approve the release of particular types of data as open data.
Also, the level of co-creation of new content with citizens has lagged behind what was originally intended. This was driven by the lack of suitable engagement tools being available as well as a lack of specific resources and skills sets required to engage with citizens around the development of data-driven content. It is recognised that there needs to be imaginative, accessible, and appropriate engagement channels established to make it attractive and worthwhile for citizens to want to engage.
Also, engagement with citizens via existing networks has been delayed given the current review of community empowerment structures within Glasgow City Council.
The creation of content has been informed partly through: engagement with structures and representative bodies that support community involvement in public decision-making; immediate challenges facing the city such as COVID, climate change, and poverty; and driven by demand for Freedom of Information data, opening up the types of data most frequently requested.
One area where development has not progressed has been the creation of an engagement and dialogue tool as part of the open data hub – the concept was to facilitate dialogue with citizens around data and content development via the platform.

1.3 Was the commitment implemented as originally planned?

Most of the commitment milestones were implemented as planned.

Provide a brief explanation of your answer:

The delivery of a dynamic open data hub has been delivered as expected with new and diverse content being added continuously. However, as above, the level of co-creation of new content with communities has not been as originally planned as we have been unable to establish a consistent dialogue with citizens on what data and content are made available and how communities can influence what is released and what might be useful.

Section 2.
Did it open government?

2.1.1. – Did the government disclose more information; improve the quality of the information (new or existing); improve the value of the information; improve the channels to disclose or request information or improve accessibility to information?


Degree of result:


Explanation: In narrative form, what has been the impact on people or practice.

Yes, over 70 new data sets have been added to the hub from 2021 to 2023 in addition to almost 10 new data apps and a series of data stories.
The quality has improved in terms of the type of public interest data made available such as community grant funding, licensing, planning, community facilities, schools, and housing. The presentation and accessibility to the data have improved as the open data hub has been re-created on the ESRI platform which enables the development of visual maps, apps, and stories to support the quality of content provided.
As above, the type of public interest data released has improved and the presentation has been enhanced by providing apps to enable people to build their own basic queries around local data. The story maps also enhance the context for and meaning of the data itself.
The diversity of the content on the ESRI-based platform has improved the way in which data are disclosed. However, as previously commented on, tools to improve dialogue and engagement with citizens around data have not been released as yet, nor have processes been established to achieve consistent dialogue with citizens around open data and how they might influence its release.
The way in which data are presented (via maps, apps, and stories) is a major improvement in making data more accessible relative to previous iterations of open data platforms.
The impact on practice has been that Glasgow City Council now has a more visible and accessible point of focus for its open data ambitions, and this has made it easier to achieve the publication of some new data (but not all). The hub has also supported the improvement of data quality practices, particularly around spatial data released. Releasing more open data has helped the transparency of local government, particularly in relation to FOIs and elected member requests.
All of the above is expected to have had a positive impact on the use and understanding of data by stakeholders including citizens, albeit the extent of the impact has not been quantified. Also, the hub has not as yet achieved its ambition to be a focal point for dialogue and co-creation with citizens around data (linking to Commitment 2).

2.1.2. – Did the government create new opportunities to seek feedback from citizens/enable participation inform or influence decisions; improve existing channels or spaces to seek feedback from citizens/enable participation/ inform or influence decisions; create or improve capabilities in the government or the public aimed to improve how the government seeks feedback from citizens/enables participation/ or allows for the public to inform or influence decisions?


Degree of result:


Explanation: In narrative form, what has been the impact on people or practice.

As outlined in 1.1, the commitment enabled the Council to focus on engagement around open data with a range of structures and representatives. However, as outlined in 1.2, the level of co-creation of new content with citizens has been slower than originally anticipated.
There is still some way to go to create accessible and effective structures to sustain dialogue and influence amongst citizens as part of the co-creation of data commitment.
The publication of open data has enhanced insights around specific services which have influenced how these services are run by the Council and its partners. As such, this should inform and enhance decision-making and the delivery and quality of services for citizens, for example, movements and mobility data such as footfall, cycle hire, and pedestrian counts have fed into the new city’s active transport strategy.

2.1.3 Did the government create or improve channels, opportunities or capabilities to hold officials answerable to their actions?

Not Applicable

2.1.4 Other Results

Not Applicable

2.2 Did the commitment address the public policy problem that it intended to address as described in the action plan?


Provide a brief explanation of your answer:

Partially – It has improved the publication and availability of data and insights that might help inform decision-making. However, this is dependent on citizens having access to the required data and meaningful opportunities to use the insights to shape public policy and service development. As above, there is still work to be done to ensure data providers can respond to citizens, ensuring that the sorts of data being released are the most meaningful and useful to citizens and communities.

Section 3.
Lessons from

3. Provide at least one lesson or reflection relating to the implementation of this commitment. It can be the identification of key barriers to implementation, an unexpected help/hindrance, recommendations for future commitments, or if the commitment should be taken forward to the next action plan.

We have identified the following key barriers in the implementation of this Commitment, which will provide learning for future plans. In summary, they have been:

  • A lack of resources and available tools via the open data hub to support dialogue between service providers, data holders, and citizens;
  • A lack of appropriate skills and sufficient resources amongst the data community to identify, secure, and facilitate structures and processes that enable citizen dialogue, influence, and empowerment around data release and formats;
  • Changes in and reviews of community empowerment structures that could support the co-creation process; and
  • The complexity of issues around the release of particular types of data as open data.

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