Everything you need to know about High Value Datasets (HVDs) – Part 2: Steps & Tips for Public Sector Bodies

We recently published “Everything you need to know about high-value datasets – Part 1“, where we provided an overview of the context surrounding HVDs and answers the most frequently asked questions.

The second part answers the question “What should Public Sector Bodies do now?”, highlighting the steps to follow for HVDs publication and tips to progress in your general data journey.

What should Public Sector Bodies do now?

Steps and tips for HVDs (and general open/internal data) publication

1. Know your data

The first step is to know the data your organisation holds. Building a data inventory through a data audit/review will help you identify the datasets ready to be published as open data, prioritising the publication of HVDs. You will also identify datasets that need some work, have sensitive data or can only be shared with other public sector bodies.

Our advice is to start with a smaller pilot data review in one or two departments/areas of your organisation and then expand it to the wide organisation.

The benefits of starting with a pilot data inventory could be:

  • Lower investment at the start – It will only take a few days to get an pilot data review going with one or two departments.
  • Less hassle and easier buy in – It will be easier to coordinate one or two areas of the organisation that are more open, and at a later date, extend it to the other departments with the experience and the benefits at hand.
  • Faster results – It will be quicker to identify HVDs and open data ready to publish from a department that is familiar with the topic rather than trying to tackle the whole organisation at once.
  • Since you will only have to coordinate one or two areas, you will get results faster, meaning identifying some datasets ready for publication.
  • You will be able to take action much faster (some datasets identified for publication) be an overwhelming task trying to coordinate departments

2. Start publishing your data

It doesn’t matter if it is only one dataset, the sooner you start publishing, the easier the process will be. If you are a public sector organisation, you most likely can start publishing your open data directly into your country’s national open data portal (data.gov.ie in the case of Ireland).

Our advice, if you have more than just a few datasets, is to build your own data portal, which will serve as your catalogue for all your publicly open and internally shared data.

3. Review and iterate at regular intervals

High-value datasets are dynamic and constantly evolving, rather than being a static list that is created once and then disregarded. To effectively identify HVDs, it is crucial to stay proactive and regularly reassess the datasets that users and re-users find valuable. Here are some strategies to achieve this:

  • Monitor trends and developments: Keep an eye on the latest trends, advancements, and changes in your industry or field. This will help you understand emerging data needs and identify potentially valuable datasets.
  • Stay connected with your audience: Maintain ongoing communication with users and re-users. Regularly seek their feedback, conduct surveys, and engage in discussions to understand their evolving requirements and the datasets they find valuable.
  • Analyse data usage patterns: Continuously analyse the usage patterns of your existing datasets. Identify which datasets are frequently accessed, requested, or utilised in successful reuse cases. This analysis can provide insights into the datasets that hold high value for your audience.
  • Foster collaboration and partnerships: Collaborate with other organisations, researchers, and stakeholders in your domain. By sharing insights and experiences, you can collectively identify HVDs and leverage each other’s knowledge and expertise.
  • Embrace open data initiatives: Actively participate in open data initiatives and communities. Engage with open data enthusiasts, developers, and advocates to understand the datasets they consider valuable and explore opportunities for collaboration.

Our advice is to create a plan with the different activities to make sure you keep your HVDs up to date. Remember, the process of identifying HVDs is an ongoing effort that requires continuous monitoring, engagement, and adaptation to meet the evolving needs of your audience.

Your wider data strategy

Finding, improving and publishing HVDs can lead as an example of good data publishing by your organisation. This can help drive change in other types of data, both internally shared and open through a full data strategy.

A data strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how your organisation will manage and use data to achieve its goals. It can cover from the data collection to storage, processing, analysis, and sharing data within the organisation, with other stakeholders, and with the wider public. A data strategy will provide guidance on how data is governed, secured, maintained for quality and protected for privacy.

The main purpose of a data strategy is to align data-related activities with the organisation’s overall strategy and business objectives. It aims to make the most of data as a valuable asset and enable data-driven decision-making. A well-defined data strategy helps organisations unlock the full potential of their data, gain insights, drive innovation, improve efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and stay competitive in the digital age.


Our advice is to leverage any help you can get from your country’s government. In the case of Ireland, last year the Irish Government launched a framework for Irish Public Sector Bodies to avail of open data and data management external services. This framework was created to help public organisations improve their data management and publishing process as well as creating their own data portals. Leveraging the framework is very straight forward, you can find all the information in this blog post – Everything you need to know about the Technical Framework for Open Data and Data Management for the Irish Public Sector.

If you would like more information on how we can help you start or progress your open data journey, do not hesitate to contact us.

Part 2 coming soon!

In part 2 we will answer the question “What should Public Sector Bodies do now?“, highlighting the steps to follow for HVDs publication.

You might also be interested in:

OGP Framework

Everything you need to know about the Technical Services Framework for Open Data and Data Management for the Irish Public Sector

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