Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Open Data Inventory (ODIN)?

The Open Data Inventory (ODIN) is an evaluation of the coverage and openness of data provided on the websites maintained by national statistical offices (NSOs) and any official government website that is accessible from the NSO site. The overall ODIN score is an indicator of how complete and open an NSO’s data offerings are. The summary scores for social, economic, and environmental statistics and summary scores for coverage and openness provide a picture of the national statistical systems’ strengths and weaknesses.

What is ODIN’s purpose?

ODIN identifies critical gaps in the coverage of official statistics, promotes open data policies, and encourages dialogue between NSOs and data users. NSOs and their development partners can use ODIN as part of a strategic planning process and as a measure of the development of the statistical system.

ODIN provides valuable information to data users across the government, the private sector, and the public about the availability of important statistical series. In addition to the ratings of coverage and openness in 22 categories, ODIN assessments record the online location of key indicators in each category, permitting quick access to 65 indicators.

Why does ODIN assess national statistical offices?

ODIN assessments begin with the websites maintained by national statistical offices because, in most countries, the NSO is the lead agency of the national statistical system, coordinating its work with other governmental bodies that produce official statistics. If an official national data source can be accessed from the NSO’s website, it is included in the ODIN assessment.

NSOs, as producers and caretakers of official statistics, have a special obligation to maximize their public benefit. There is an increasing recognition of NSOs as data stewards for the national statistical system. NSOs can and should be the leading advocates for and providers of high quality, official statistics to the government, public, private sector, and international community.

What does ODIN not assess?

ODIN does not assess data published for countries on international organizations’ websites or private organizations’ websites because ODIN is an assessment of the national government’s capacity to produce open data. In addition, data portals or national government websites that are not clearly linked from the national statistic’s office (NSO) website are not assessed. This requirement that data sources are linked from the NSO website is rooted in the principle of accessibility and supports the idea that NSOs should lead their country’s national statistical system, including coordinating the dissemination of statistics- those that they produce and providing direction to users for those they don’t. This also provides assurance that the data users find are really the country’s official statistics and not from an out-of-date, manipulated, or unofficial source. There are also other important aspects of open data, such as interoperability, data use, and data governance issues that are not measured in ODIN, though some concepts overlap with the ODIN elements for coverage and openness.

How are open data defined in ODIN?

There is general agreement on the core meaning of open data. As summarized in the Open Definition, version 2.1, “Knowledge is open if anyone is free to access, use, modify, and share it — subject, at most, to measures that preserve provenance and openness.” This definition has been operationalized in the International Open Data Charter. In practical terms, open data should be machine readable in non-proprietary formats, accompanied by descriptive metadata and export options that allow customization and bulk download, and free to be used and reused for any purpose without limitations other than acknowledgement of the original source. These requirements have been incorporated in the five elements of the ODIN openness assessment.

What type of indicators are assessed in ODIN?

ODIN indicators are meant to be representative of the types of data a national statistical system produces. Most indicators do not have strict definitions, and closely related indicators can act as substitutes. The selection of indicators has been informed by recommendations from international agencies and by country practices and the Sustainable Development Goals. To see a list of each indicator, their definition, and accepted substitute indicators, please see Annex I and Annex II of the Methodology Guide. In each category, representative indicators have been selected because they are frequently needed for public policies or private initiatives, and because they provide evidence of underlying statistical processes for which statistical offices are responsible.

What data categories are included in ODIN?

ODIN assessments review published statistics in 22 topical categories, grouped as social statistics, economic and financial statistics, and environmental statistics. The default ODIN overall score weighs the three groups equally. The data categories in ODIN 2022/23 are:

Social Statistics
1. Population and Vital Statistics
2. Education Facilities
3. Education Outcomes
4. Health Facilities
5. Health Outcomes
6. Reproductive Health
7. Food Security and Nutrition
8. Gender Statistics
9. Crime and Justice Statistics
10. Poverty and Income Statistics
Economic and Financial Statistics
11. National Accounts
12. Labor Statistics
13. Price Indexes
14. Government Finance
15. Money and Banking
16. International Trade
17. Balance of Payments
Environmental Statistics
18. Agriculture and Land Use
19. Resource Use
20. Energy
21. Pollution
22. Built Environment

More information about the indicators in each data category and how data categories are scored can be found on the category pages in the Methodology Guide.

How does ODIN measure coverage?

Coverage of data are measured by five elements that measure how complete the country’s data offerings are. Information on all elements are collected for each dataset assessed in ODIN, except for elements 4 and 5 that are not included for some data categories or for small countries.

The five coverage elements are:

  1. Availability of indicators and disaggregations
  2. Availability of data in the last five years
  3. Availability of data in the last ten years
  4. Availability of data at the first administrative geographic level
  5. Availability of data at the second administrative geographic level

How does ODIN measure openness?

Openness of data is measured by five elements that assess how well a country’s data offerings meet international standards of openness, as defined by the Open Definition.

The five openness elements are:

  1. Availability of data in machine readable format
  2. Availability of data in non-proprietary format
  3. Availability of reference metadata
  4. Availability of download options that make the data more accessible: bulk downloads, APIs, customizable data export options
  5. Availability of an open data license or open data terms of use

How many countries does ODIN 2022/23 cover?

ODIN 2015 assessed 125 countries; ODIN 2016 assessed 173; ODIN 2017 assessed 180 countries; ODIN 2018/19 assessed 178 countries; ODIN 2020/21 assessed 187 countries; and ODIN 2022/23 assessed 192 countries.

Are there any special considerations for small countries?

Yes, in ODIN countries with a surface area of 1,500 sq. km. or less are not scored for data disaggregation at the second administrative level for any indicator. And they are not scored for data disaggregation at the first administrative geographic level for the following categories: National Accounts, Price Indexes, and Government Finance, Resource Use, Pollution and many individual indicators (Indicators 2.3, 4.3, 6.1, 6.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 8.2, 9.3, 10.2, and 18.2). See more about these indicators in this section of the Methodology Guide.

When was ODIN 2022/23 conducted?

The ODIN 2022/23 assessments were carried out between June and September 2022. Only data published before the end of September 2022 are considered. ODIN 2022/23 assesses datasets with data points from the 2012-2021.More details about the ODIN schedule and data collection process can be found here.

Are there any methodology changes in ODIN 2022/23?

In ODIN 2022/23, there have been the following minor methodology changes:

  • Full credit cannot be awarded to any category for coverage element 1: indicators and disaggregation availability without sex disaggregated data (when required).v
  • Sex disaggregation has been added to indicators (2.2) Number of teaching staff, (3.3) Competency exam results, (7.1) Prevalence of undernourishment, and (7.2) Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity.
  • The disaggregation, violence type, has been added to indicator (8.1) Proportion of women who are victims of physical, sexual, or psychological violence.
  • Indicator (8.3) Data on child marriages has been renamed Data on child marriages for girls.
  • Datasets on both energy indicators must include more than one energy commodity. Data on only electricity consumption and supply, or one energy commodity, are not accepted.

How comparable are ODIN scores over time?

ODW considers the ODIN assessments of 2016 and later to be comparable. In every ODIN assessment there are some minor methodology changes. Below is a brief description of what changed each year compared to the previous year. Users can create custom scores on the ODIN website that exclude data categories that were introduced in later years if they wish to increase the compatibility between years. (For custom scoring, click the gear icon next to most tables or on the download page.)

ODIN 2017

  • The category, Crime and Justice, was introduced.
  • Four new indicators were introduced in the following categories: Gender statistics (data on child marriages), Health outcomes (stunting, wasting, and obesity rates), Land Use (data on protected lands), Resource Use (data on timber harvests or deforestation)
  • Education data that were required to be disaggregated by school stage are now given credit only if at least three school stages are present (two must be beyond the primary stage).
  • The openness criteria for download options changed to give full credit for bulk downloads and API or user-select download options. Before, credit could be given for user-select download options and bulk download or API.
  • The inclusion of a clause banning commercial use in any terms of use or data license downgrades the score to 0 points instead of partial credit.
  • More specific criteria for metadata scoring were introduced to increase the objectivity of this openness element.
  • Countries with a surface area 1,500 sq. km. or less are no longer scored for data at the second administrative level in any category.

ODIN 2018/19

  • The categories, Pollution, Energy Use, Price Indexes, and Resource Use are no longer scored for data at the second administrative level.
  • Some individual indicators are also no longer scored for data at the second administrative level: education and health expenditure data, maternal mortality ratio, infant mortality rate, proportion of women in government, persons in prison, distribution of income, and data on land use.
  • Many SDG indicators are identified as substitute indicators for ODIN indicators.

ODIN 2020/21

  • The category, Food Security and Nutrition, was introduced.
  • Two new indicators were introduced in the Food Security and Nutrition category: prevalence of undernourishment and prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity.
  • The category Land Use was renamed Agriculture and Land Use. One new indicator was added to the category, commodity production.
  • The category Energy Use was renamed Energy. One new indicator was added to the category, energy supply.
  • One new indicator was added to National Accounts, gross domestic product (income approach).
  • The data category, Energy, is no longer scored for data at the first administrative level.
  • ODIN bulk download credit is now given full credit, even if they do not include subnational datasets.
  • The “date of compilation” is no longer included as part of the ODIN metadata element. Countries now only have the option of publishing the date of upload or date of last update to receive credit.
  • More strict metadata guidelines are implemented. Credit for metadata are only given if the metadata are in the same location as the data or are clearly labeled from the website’s menu.

ODIN 2022/23
See previous question.

Do NSOs participate in the ODIN research process?

Open Data Watch invites all countries’ NSOs to provide feedback on the datasets recorded in ODIN. This feedback can include information on datasets they believe should be considered. Each NSO is contacted at least 3 times between March and May 2022 by email. If NSOs agree to participate, they are provided a spreadsheet identifying the datasets evaluated by the ODIN team and given a month to provide any comments. Their feedback is reviewed and incorporated into the final assessment, if in line with ODIN methodology. If you are an NSO that would like to participate in the review process, please email us