Module 3. Unit 2. Sharing information through open data

When sharing data online, three aspects deserve particular attention, as Shannon and Weaver explained in their seminal article “The Mathematical Theory of Communication” (1949), these are:

  • Technical: accuracy of transmission
  • Semantic: precision in transferring the meaning
  • Effectiveness: impact on conduct

According to Jones (2014), effective data communication is based on six main principles):

  1. Know your goal: your audience, desired effect, intended meaning will guide your message.
  2. Use the Right Data: select a proper amount of data, ensuring ethical and reliable messages.
  3. Select suitable visualizations: use graphical representations to translate your data.
  4. Design for Aesthetics: engage your audience with attractive data visualizations (e.g. colours, fonts, labels, images).
  5. Choose an Effective Medium and Channel: the form and way of delivery of the message influence its impact on the audience.
  6. Check the results: be careful of reach (did the audience receive the message?), understanding (was it interpreted in the right way?), impact (Was the reaction the same you expected?) (Reilly, 2014).
Visualizations can facilitate the meaning of data, bringing it “alive”, increasing its persuasiveness and highlighting trends, connections, patterns (Verghese).

According to the Harvard Business Review, visualizations should always: be tailored for the audience, provide a common reference for interpretation, convey a story. Making an emotional connection to your audience is a sign of proper use of data visualizations (Zandan).

If you are ready to publish your data, remember to put a license on it, as in many jusrisdictions there are specific intellectual property rights, limiting the reuse and redistribution of data by third-parties.

What licenses can you apply?

At the following link you can find a list of licenses that are suitable for Open Data publishing:

Activity: Review the learning outcomes of this unit

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Suggested options are:

  • Open data commons: legal tools and licenses to support the publication, provision and use of open data.
  • Creative Commons (CC) licenses: provide a strong legal code formed by a short summary and a machine-readable code, with different kinds of authorisations and limits on re-use. CCO license ensures a resource is effectively open.

Activity: Review the presentation by clicking on the image and complete the activities.

Explorer level presentation D3 unit 2


Activity: Review the Expert presentation by clicking on the image and complete the activities.

Expert level presentation D3 unit 2

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