Open Government Data
: Empowering Reuse through Collaboration, Data Quality, and Data Storytelling

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences


Open Government Data (OGD), spanning various government activities, has been made publicly accessible through online portals in the aim of increasing transparency and accountability. Although OGD offers myriad benefits, the full potential is only realized when the data is effectively reused, a facet hindered by multiple barriers. This thesis focuses on these challenges, targeting three specific barriers to develop artifacts and practical solutions that aid OGD stakeholders, primarily citizens, infomediaries, and OGD publishers.

The first barrier, concerning the lack of communication and collaboration among OGD stakeholders, was addressed by exploring communication methods and socio-collaborative needs. Following a literature review and an online survey, we devised recommendations for effective communication channels. We also identified the requirements for an application to raise user awareness about OGD, and then developed the application integrating those requirements. Through testing, we confirmed that the application was successful in enhancing user awareness about OGD. Further, to bridge the gap between stakeholders, we identified requirements for an application that could address the socio-collaborative impediments, and upon its development, we confirmed its effectiveness in ameliorating the technical issues surrounding collaboration.

The second barrier tackled was the lack of (meta)data quality on OGD portals, a problem that can severely affect the reliability of services developed based on these data. We initiated our approach by identifying quality dimensions to assess data and metadata quality. Subsequently, we developed a conversational agent integrating these dimensions and user preferences, which was evaluated and confirmed to be effective in providing a comprehensive assessment of (meta)data quality.

The third barrier confronted was the difficulty for users to turn data into stories, a process crucial for making informed decisions. The approach to this challenge involved three interactive methods. An analysis of the usage statistics of the Namur OGD portal and an online survey informed us of user preferences in data types. Interviews gave us insights into the most suitable data visualization methods. Following this, a literature review enabled us to identify key dashboard design principles and the requirements for data storytelling tools. Eventually, we developed a prototype integrating these requirements, which was evaluated to ascertain its usefulness in aiding users to create engaging data narratives regardless of their technical proficiency.

In summary, this thesis primarily focuses on tackling the challenges related to the reuse of OGD by outlining recommendations and practical prerequisites for feasible solutions. It further proposes effective and user-friendly solutions to these challenges through the development of tools designed to facilitate communication and collaboration, improve data quality, and promote data storytelling. These contributions not only provide a robust theoretical foundation for future research but also practical solutions that can be leveraged by OGD stakeholders to optimize data reuse.
Date of Award27 Oct 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SupervisorBenoit Vanderose (Supervisor), Benoît Frénay (Co-Supervisor), Wim Vanhoof (Jury), Anthony Simonofski (Jury), Xavier Devroey (Jury), Bruno Dumas (Jury), Anastasija Nikiforova (Jury) & Adegboyega Ojo (Jury)


  • open government data
  • reuse
  • collaboration
  • data quality
  • data storytelling

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