Northern Ireland Open Data Strategy

November 25, 2015

It is recognised that opening up public sector data is the right thing to do in terms of transparency, accountability, efficiency of the public sector and in driving economic growth through innovative use of data.

OpenDataNI brings together, in one place, a range of data from government departments and other public sector organisations. The data is available under an Open Government Licence which means that it is free to copy, adapt, commercially exploit and publish. OpenDataNI is the technical platform for the delivery of the Open Data Strategy for Northern Ireland 2015-18 which was published in February this year.



The Strategy states that the default position will be that all public sector data in Northern Ireland will be ‘open by default’.

There are obvious exceptions in respect of personal data, security, commercial, intellectual property rights or environmental importance.

We aim to build capacity for open data in Northern Ireland and develop an open data ecosystem, with public sector bodies being pro-active in publishing their data.

There are nine open data principles in the strategy which will determine how we implement open data in Northern Ireland:

  1. all data on the NI open data platform is authoritative, accessible, relevant, timely, accurate and as unprocessed as possible;
  2. use of open standards to ensure interoperability;
  3. data published on the NI open data portal will as a minimum conform to step 3 on the 5 star deployment scheme;
  4. open standards for publishing data will be built into contracts and procurements for services and systems;
  5. use Open Government Licence (OGL);
  6. feedback mechanisms will be available for data released as open data;
  7. datasets will be updated in accordance with agreed refresh schedules;
  8. transparency about reasons for withholding datasets;
  9. all data will be considered for archiving.


For further details, you can view a copy of the strategy here – NI Open Data Strategy