The California Open Data Handbook

The Open Data Handbook provides guidelines to identify, review, prioritize and prepare publishable data for access by the public and government entities via an open data portal or open data site. A foundational emphasis has been placed on value, quality, data and metadata standards, and governance. This handbook is meant to serve as a resource for organizations and is also freely offered to any party that may be interested in improving the online access of publishable and machine-readable data. It will also provide an understanding of the processes by which portal owners and its contributing partners make data available for publishing. The handbook focuses on general guidelines and thought processes but also provides linked tools/resources that operationalize those processes.

The Open Data Handbook is based on the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Open Data Handbook. GovOps would like to acknowledge and thank CHHS for providing GovOps with the opportunity to mirror its comprehensive handbook. GovOps would also like to thank CHHS staff who created that document and made it available for public use. CHHS based its handbook upon the New York State Open Data Handbook, which GovOps would also like to acknowledge and thank its authors.

The breadth of data and participation by contributing partners to an open data portal are continually being enhanced and expanded, making open data a dynamic, living initiative. This handbook, providing guidelines for broad dissemination of publishable data in electronic, machine-readable form, is meant to assist organizations in sharing information publicly to promote efficiency, accessibility and transparency. It can also significantly improve the way an organization engages its constituents and fosters innovation and discovery in the scientific and business communities. It begins the process of standardizing data, which will also make it easier to discover and use.