The Open Data Foundation

The Open Data Foundation (ODaF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the adoption of global metadata standards and the development of open-source solutions promoting the use of statistical data. We focus on improving data and metadata accessibility and overall quality in support of research, policy making, and transparency, in the fields of economics, finance, healthcare, education, labor, social science, technology, agriculture, development, and the environment. While we see this information as being primarily statistical in nature, it is understood that it can be drawn from a wide variety of sources and therefore may include information not traditionally seen as such.

Data has many sources, the administration of surveys and the monitoring of transactional flows and registers being some of the most common. In order to become useful for the end-user communities, raw data commonly go through various editing, aggregation and analytical stages. While researchers and academics may find the micro-data useful, policy and decision makers and the and the general public are more commonly interested in the easier to manage high-level aggregates. Despite the existence of tools and the emergence of open metadata specifications, it is often not possible to connect the different parts of this information chain together. Such connection, however, is critical in fully understanding the data.

Ideally, it should be possible for a user to easily perform tasks such as:

  • Discover the existence of data
  • Access the data for research and analysis
  • Find detailed information describing the data and its production processes
  • Access the data sources and collection instruments from which and with which the data was collected, compiled, and aggregated
  • Effectively communicate with the agencies involved in the production, storage, distribution of the data
  • Share knowledge with other users

The Open Data Foundation exists to help realize this vision, working in cooperation with standards initiatives and other interested parties.

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