Log File Analytics for Gaining Insight into Actual Use of Open Data

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Following open data policies worldwide, an increasing number of public organisations has now published open data that is free to be used by anyone. However, despite the significant increase in use of this open data, the open data
providers are mostly not aware of their users and the way in which the data is actually re-used. This is rooted in the principle that open data should be free to use without prior user registration in order to avoid any unnecessary barriers for
reuse of the data. However, understanding use and user needs of open data is important to improve the provision of open data and the successful implementation of open data policies. We explored the use of log files of the actual use of open data to identify the users and to explore how the open data is being used. By means of a case study in which we apply log file analytics to the Dutch open geographical data portal we show that this approach is promising for analysing open data use. This approach will yield many new insights for open data providers to improve and fine-tune their open data offer and policy makers will be provided with data on actual use to evaluate their open data policies. Our analysis shows that citizens are a much heavier user of open data than currently assumed: citizens as major users of open government data should be taken much more seriously in the demand driven open data policies. We recommend transferring the pilot project into a permanent monitoring instrument for open data use and exploring additional analytics for using the rich data that log files
provide for.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th European Conference on Digital Government
EditorsVieira Borges, José Carlos Dias Rouco
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-911218-37-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-911218-38-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventECDG 2017: 17th European Conference on Digital Government - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 12 Jun 201713 Jun 2017


ConferenceECDG 2017: 17th European Conference on Digital Government
Internet address


  • open data
  • assessment
  • log files
  • PDOK


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