Costs and Benefits of Data Provision

2015-07-09 - Business Models / Policies / Studies & Surveys

Nice study by John Houghton (Report to the Australian National Data Service 2011) on Open Government Data. The report investigates the cost-benefit-ration of open data strategies of the Australian government. It focuses on three main elements:

  • The costs and cost savings experienced by PSI producing agencies involved in the provision of free and open access to information;
  • The costs and cost savings experienced by the users of PSI in accessing, using and reusing the information; and
  • The potential wider economic and social impacts of freely accessible PSI.

The author utilizes the following analytical framework:

psi-analytical framework

Here is an example:

For example, we find that the net cost to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) of making publications and statistics freely available online and adopting Creative Commons licensing was likely to have been around $3.5 million per annum at 2005-06 prices and levels of activity, but the immediate cost savings for users were likely to have been around $5 million per annum. The wider impacts in terms of additional use and uses bring substantial additional returns, with our estimates suggesting overall costs associated with free online access to ABS publications and data online and unrestrictive standard licensing of around $4.6 million per annum and measurable annualised benefits of perhaps $25 million (i.e. more than five times the costs).


Houghton, John (2011). Costs and Benefits of Data Provision. Centre for Strategic Studies. Victoria University. See also:


› tags: Australia / open data / open government data / Public Sector Information /

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