【Press Release】“Hong Kong Open Data Index” survey finds people less satisfied with the process of finding public data — Internet Society Hong Kong recommends a demand-driven approach for the government to release data
July 10th, 2021, Hong Kong — Internet Society Hong Kong (ISOC HK) published the first “Hong Kong Open Data Index 2019/20 Assessment Report” last year, evaluating the openness of public data in Hong Kong. This year, the initiative of ISOC HK commissioned the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (HKPORI) to conduct a “Survey on Hong Kong People’s view on Open Data”, collecting the public’s knowledge of and opinion about open data and providing the Hong Kong government with recommendations to optimise the open data policy. Survey results showed a majority of people have obtained and used public data, while respondents also express a lower satisfaction with the process of finding data.
Findings: People find less inconvenient searching for public data; Land and Housing data are in demand
The survey targets two main groups: 1) those aged above 15 in a representative panel of Hong Kong people from PORI’s PopPanel (explainer: https://www.pori.hk/panel.html?lang=en); 2) IT professionals (currently working in the industry or with an IT related degree) in Hong Kong. The results show, in the past year, almost all respondents (99%) had viewed public data online, while around 1/5 of Hong Kong people have copied, downloaded or exported open data for further processing. Among all of the subjects, the most-used data in descending order are Transportation, Weather or climate, Economic conditions, Medical or public health and Demographics. It is noteworthy that Housing and Land information (or maps) data, are respectively the 4th and the 7th anticipated data among all, yet they only ranked the 14th and the 17th most currently used datasets. A reason for this gap might be the extensive discussion of the land and housing problems in the city now. “Last year our report had assessed the openness of public data in Hong Kong by technical indicators, however we had not yet explored the demand of the people and corporations for open data, while no one had conducted such a survey in Hong Kong before. Therefore, we decided to conduct a survey in this regard .” Researcher of “Hong Kong Open Data Index” Benjamin Zhou said, “After all, the publication and use of data should serve people’s interests and a demand-driven approach should be adopted by the government while releasing the public data.”
Another major finding of the survey is that a majority of respondents are less satisfied with the process of searching for public data than the data itself, with only a 2/5 satisfaction rate. 70% of the open data users among the general public were able to obtain most of the data they need, only 3% of the respondents found nothing. Meanwhile, only 1% of the IT professionals failed to find any data they needed. Ben Cheng, Director of ISOC HK pointed out that, “Since the Hong Kong government stated a plan for Open Data in the ‘Smart City Blueprint’ in 2017, a wide variety and large amount of public data have been increasingly available on the Internet. However, there is still great room for improvement on its data publishing process and methods. The survey revealed that for both citizens and IT professionals’, there is a significant gap between the expectation and satisfaction level on two indicators:, ‘granularity’ and ‘timely updated’.”
THREE recommendations for the government:
Coordinate the data publication functions across online platforms, open up data according to public demand & include “data literacy” in the policy agenda
Based on the survey results, ISOC HK raises three recommendations for the government to improve its open data policy, in regard to HKODI’s “data for people” vision.
First, the government should streamline the process of releasing public data, by reconciling the data publication standards for the one-stop platform “data.gov.hk” and other government websites, improve its search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and metadata schemes in order to make public data more searchable for people.
Second, ISOC HK suggests the government to open up a variety of channels for people and corporations to voice their need for data, so as to facilitate a user-centric and demand-driven process to enhance data availability. According to the survey, the datasets that should be prioritised to open up are those regarding public utilities (including transportation), land and housing.
Third, improving Hong Kong people’s data literacy should be added to the policy agenda. “It’s time for the government to introduce related modules for students in different educational stages and provide civil servants and professionals in various industries with proper training on how to understand and make use of data” said Wong Ho Wa, Convener of ISOC HK’s Open Data Committee, “This can level people’s data literacy with the social and economic status of Hong Kong, and hence boost the city’s overall competitiveness”.
【新聞稿】「香港開放數據指數」民意調查 顯示市民對搜尋數據過程滿意程度較低 香港互聯網協會建議政府基於市民需求開放數據
(2021 年 7 月 10 日 — 香港)香港互聯網協會去年發布首份《香港開放數據指數》報告，評估香港開放數據的發展情況。今年《指數》計劃進入新階段，協會委託香港民意研究 所(民研)實施調查，在報告基礎上，進一步了解香港市民對開放數據的評價、需求及期待。調查報告今日發布，報告指，幾乎所有市民都曾上網瀏覽公共數據;而交通、經濟、人口和醫療衛生分別為市民目前最常用的數據主題，但市民普遍對搜尋數據的過程滿意程 度較低。
是次調查主要針對兩個群體:一是香港民研意見組群中 15 歲以上的市民代表;二是從事資訊科技行業或擁有相關專上教育學位的人士。調查發現，幾乎所有(約99%)市民表 示過去一年曾查閱公共數據，當中約兩成市民表示過去一年有複製、下載或匯出 (copy, download or export) 開放數據。在眾多數據中，市民最常用的五個主題依次是交通、天氣(或氣候)、經濟、醫療衛生及人口;值得注意的是，房屋和土地數據在使用度排名分 別居於第 14 及 17 位，卻在市民期待程度中處於較高的第 4 位及第 7 位，這結果可能與 現今社會對房屋和土地問題的廣泛討論有關。「香港開放數據指數」研究員周穗斌表示: 「去年的報告主要為公共數據的開放程度作出技術評估，但未有探討市民和企業的數據需求，香港也未見針對市民數據需求的調查，故希望透過今次調查作進一步研究。歸根結底 ，數據的開放及使用都應以人為本，滿足市民需要。 」
調查另一項發現是大部分使用開放數據的市民能找到所需數據，有約七成人能找到大部分數據，完全找不到的只有約 3%;惟對尋找數據的過程比結果滿意程度較低，只有約四成人對過程表示滿意。受訪資訊科技人士中可以獲得所需數據的比例則略低，但也有接近五成能大部分取得所需數據，完全無法取得者僅 1%，亦可見在互聯網發布的香港公共數據 總體豐富。另外，香港互聯網協會董事鄭斌彬指出:「政府自 2017 年把開放數據納入「 香港智慧城市藍圖」發展計劃後，開放數據的量愈來愈豐富，可是在發布過程及方式仍有改善空間。而且不約而同地，市民和受訪資訊科技人士皆認為「更新及時」和「精細程度 」(granularity)兩項開放數據指標的重要程度和現況滿意程度有較大落差。 」
三大建議:政府應整合各類網站數據發布方式 以需求為導向開放數據 加強數據素養教育