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Deliverable 2.3 now available

Posted: 1st September 2015 at 7:56 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


Subject: User stories on Open Data and Transparency

Document produced by: School of Psychology and Insight Centre for Data Analytics, National University Ireland Galway (NUIG)


Michael Hogan,, Owen Harney,, Paolo Boscolo,, Elena Palmisano,, Jerry Andriessen,, Erna Ruijer,, Jonathan Groff,, Adegboyega Ojo,, Lukasz Porwol,

Due date: 31 July 2015


Route-To-PA (Raising Open and User-friendly Transparency-Enabling Technologies for Public Administration) is an innovation project focused on prototyping and piloting the integration of platforms for Open Data and a social network engine, enhanced with tools to facilitate Open Data understanding, metadata linking, and personalization of data usage. Two of the primary Route-To-PA project objectives, which are discussed in this report, are: 1) to enable the transition into the next generation of Open Data portals by creating tools that will enable citizens to socially engage over Open Data resources, the Social Platform for Open Data (SPOD) component of the project, and 2) to provide tools that could be integrated into existing open data platforms to deliver greater data transparency and quality and understandability, the Transparency Enhancing Toolset (TET) component. This report presents the initial user stories and detailed, agile user stories that provide input for the development of both SPOD and TET and the Route-To-PA platform.

Initial scenarios on Open Data were developed for each pilot site and the scenarios were then expanded and refined into user stories using a collective intelligence (CI) and scenario-based design approach. This has been followed by an analysis and mapping of the user stories into relevant technical, more-detailed, pilot-specific scenarios for further analysis (this has been presented in deliverable D2.2). This report is grounded in the analysis of data from stakeholder workshops in Dublin (Ireland), Groningen (The Netherlands), Den Haag (The Netherlands), Prato (Italy) and Paris (France). Each workshop brought together experts, academics, industry specialists, Open Data practitioners, representatives of governments and Open Data researchers, and potential users (including citizens, representatives of citizens and social service institutes, and journalists) to brainstorm on Open Data platform adoption challenges, solutions to the challenges and a set of needs and requirements necessary for consideration in the design of the Route-To-PA platform. The emphasis on citizen participation and collaborative design in the methodology seeks to address the goals of improved government transparency and accountability for decision-making.

Each workshop began with a collective intelligence analysis of barriers to accessing, understanding and using open data, followed by an analysis of options that may overcome these barriers. Participants then worked to develop scenario-based user needs, which involved profiling user needs in light of the barriers and options and high level scenarios of open data usage (see Figure 2). This scenario-based needs analysis included a separate focus on (1) information needs, (2) social and collaborative interaction needs, and (3) understandabilty, usability, and decision-making needs. The user stories including multiple users were used to prompt thinking in relation to user needs. User types in these scenarios included: citizens, entrepreneurs, app developers, public administrators, educators, students, city officials, journalists and other users who may seek to access, understand, and use open data for various reasons. These scenarios also addressed various contextual issues, relevant to each of the workshop sites, and aligned with the primary scenario focus in each pilot site. For example, the Dublin workshop focused on community networking and opportunity creation; the Groningen workshop focused on the use of Open Data in overcoming issues associated with population decline; the Den Haag workshop focused on Open Data in relation to employment and opportunity creation; the Prato workshop centered on local policy and budget issues; and finally, the workshop in Paris focuses on Open Data in relation to start-up companies and the digital economy.

By detailing user stories and stakeholders’ collective intelligence and scenario-based design-thinking in relation to the SPOD and TET components of the project, this report aims to provide a better understanding of Open Data platforms with respect to:

  1. Barriers to accessing, understanding and using Open Data
  2. Options for overcoming these barriers
  3. User information needs
  4. User social and collaborative needs
  5. User understandability, usability, and decision-making needs
  6. The reasons behind these specified needs
  7. Implications for Route-To-PA design

The five workshops generated a range of barriers and options across pilot-specific scenarios. A number of themes emerged across sites.

The full content of the deliverable is available here. All public deliverables are available at

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