Engaging Citizens with Open Government Data: The Value of Dashboards compared to Individual Visualizations

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The use of individual visualizations for Open Government Data (OGD) has been shown not to be entirely efficient in engaging citizens. Dashboards constitute a promising solution, but how they should be designed and applied in an OGD context remains under-investigated. This article examines whether the use of well-designed dashboards can increase citizen engagement with OGD. To achieve this objective, a literature review on dashboard design principles is conducted. Then, the outputs of this literature review are used to compile a list of 16 dashboard design principles in the context of OGD. Next, we apply these design principles to build the Namur (Belgium) Budget Dashboard (NBDash) in order to provide a practical application of our research and use it for evaluation. Finally, we use NBDash as a use case to evaluate the usefulness of well-designed dashboards compared to individual visualizations through an experimental study. The results of the experimental design study with 108 participants suggest that the implementation of well-designed dashboards can be beneficial in encouraging the use of data on portals. In addition, the selection of meaningful metrics and the use of appropriate visualizations, all organized in a clear presentation, have proven to be the primary factors of successful dashboards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalDigital Government: Research and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2022


  • Open government data
  • visualization
  • Dashboards
  • citizen engagement
  • design principles
  • visualizations
  • Open Government Data
  • dashboards


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