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Best Practice: Holistic Metrics

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This is one of a set of Best Practices for implementing the (Revised) PSI Directive developed by the .

Creative Commons Licence Share-PSI Best Practice: Holistic Metrics by Share-PSI 2.0 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The costs of public sector information in respect to added value has to be assessed taking into account large-scale detour effects and not merely at the level of the publishing organisation. This BP clarifies why this is a best practice, what can be the obstacles and approaches to actually implement the BP.


The publication of data and information according to regulations, principles, best practices or recommendations generally has a positive effect. However, in cases where the publisher creates a substantial revenue by monetizing the concerned data, the loss of income represents a hard to deny fact which may contribute to the decisions against publishing data or information. Therefore more sophisticated assessments are required which are suitable to justify loss of income on one level in exchange to gained overall benefits.


A range of metrics taken at a higher level will often show significant benefits to the organisation as a whole, such as increased overall efficiency, improved services and increased transparency.

Why is this a Best Practice?

Generally, assessing the benefits of actions exclusively at local scale will lead to micro-optimisations and missed opportunities at the larger context. This is not only disadvantageous in the case of deciding on opening up data and information, but is an administrative leftover from times where holistic measure was mostly impossible due to non-existent integrated Information Systems which can provide a quick and comprehensive overview on policy making.

How do I implement this Best Practice?

The actual implementation of public sector value assessment is very much influenced by the administrative organisational setup. If and open data strategy is implemented at the federal level, chances are high, that impact assessment will also take place at that level.

To facilitate the transition from assessing efforts and value from the local level to a higher level, techniques and methodologies of management by objectives, rigorous data analytics by using dashboards, data mining and predictive modeling as means of evidence based government could be used.

The actual implementation will further depend on the level where the PSI directive got implemented. While all EU member states are required to implement EU directives into national law, some member states forward this obligation to provinces (mostly on NUTS-2 level), which adds additional difficulty when erecting holistic measures of costs and effects of data and information publication. Some individual departments, or sub-departments, are likely to see increased costs with no direct benefit to that department but at a higher level, the benefits should be evident and measurable.

Further reading

Where has this best practice been implemented?

Country Implementation Contact Point
United Kingdom Performance UK
Finland Government´s analysis, assessment and research activities Prime Ministeŕs Office Finland
Italy Impact of open data measured by indicators (in progress) Giorgia Lodi


Local Guidance

This Best Practice is cited by, or is consistent with, the advice given within the following guides:

Contact Info

Editor: Johann Höchtl, Danube University, Krems
Contributors: Anne Kauhanen-Simanainen, Ministry of Finance, Finland, Giorgia Lodi, AgID, Italy

Issue Tracker

Any matters arising from this BP, including implementation experience, lessons learnt, places where it has been implemented or guides that cite this BP can be recorded and discussed on the project's GitHub repository

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