Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2021, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (1): 120-138.doi: 10.2478/jdis-2021-0012

• Research Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Why Open Government Data? The Case of a Swedish Municipality

Koraljka Golub1,(), Arwid Lund2   

  1. 1Linnaeus University, 351 95 Växjö, Sweden
    2Södertörn University, 141 89 Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Received:2020-06-15 Revised:2020-10-10 Accepted:2020-11-02 Online:2021-02-20 Published:2021-01-20
  • Contact: Koraljka Golub


Purpose: The purpose of this exploratory study is to provide modern local governments with potential use cases for their open data, in order to help inform related future policies and decision-making. The concrete context was that of the V?xj? municipality located in southeastern Sweden.
Design/methodology/approach: The methodology was two-fold: 1) a survey of potential end users (n=151) from a local university; and, 2) analysis of survey results using a theoretical model regarding local strategies for implementing open government data.
Findings: Most datasets predicted to be useful were on: sustainability and environment; preschool and school; municipality and politics. The use context given is primarily research and development, informing policies and decision making; but also education, informing personal choices, informing citizens and creating services based on open data. Not the least, the need for educating target user groups on data literacy emerged. A tentative pattern comprising a technical perspective on open data and a social perspective on open government was identified.
Research limitations: In line with available funding, the nature of the study was exploratory and implemented as an anonymous web-based survey of employees and students at the local university. Further research involving (qualitative) surveys with all stakeholders would allow for creating a more complete picture of the matter.
Practical implications: The study determines potential use cases and use contexts for open government data, in order to help inform related future policies and decision-making.
Originality/value: Modern local governments, and especially in Sweden, are faced with a challenge of how to make their data open, how to learn about which types of data will be most relevant for their end users and what will be different societal purposes. The paper contributes to knowledge that modern local governments can resort to when it comes to attitudes of local citizens to open government data in the context of an open government data perspective.

Key words: Open data, E-government, Open government