Open data in city strategies

by A (Ari) Ylinr

Institution: University of Oulu
Year: 2017
Keywords: Information Processing Science
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2154864
Full text PDF: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201704121477


Abstract The development initiatives of cities are prioritized by the city councils in the city strategies. This masters thesis studies the occurrence of open data themes among city priorities. The theoretical background of the thesis is based on knowledge of open data literature and city strategies. It is studied how the cities promote open data in their city strategies: how are the themes of open data visible in the strategies. Opening data is an active topic in cities. Among other drivers, legislation in national and European Union level is pushing proceeding. Opening datasets in new sectors meets also barriers. In this thesis, a review is done for the classifications of driving and hindering factors. A possible mandate and assignment from the highest municipal decision-making level to the open data promotion work provides a significant support when solving obstacles in the operational level. For a municipal unit, composing a strategy is a duty based on the Finnish Local Government Act. It directs the strategy work only in a high level, though. It does not instruct the form or accurate contents of the strategy, but the cities determine the composition themselves. City strategies not only present the visions and strategic objectives, but they can also be seen as a part of the city management system. In order to find out if the open data initiatives are among top priorities of cities, the research question for this thesis is formed: how the city strategies promote open data themes? The research studies if the open data themes are visible in strategies. If the city top decision-making sees open data themes as high priorities, open data promotion work has more tools to win barriers. This thesis aims at increasing the knowledge regarding the factors that have an effect on open data work. In this thesis, city strategies are analysed through strategy documents from Finnish large cities. The data was collected from the city strategy documents, approved for council terms that started in 2013. Methodologically this study is a qualitative content analysis. The approach is data-driven; the analysis is based on document data from the city strategy. According to the results of this study, cities see the themes that support open data work as high priorities, and city strategies express objectives that can be used as tools for open data promotion. Especially transparency and openness in decision-making as well as resident participation are widely supported themes. Direct expressions of opening datasets and business promotion with open data are also visible, but not as commonly.