While advocating about the concept of open data and its usefulness, it is also important to know the demand of data of the specific region. The kind of data that people from various sectors are looking for needs to be identified. Therefore, to understand the level of awareness about open data and the demand of data in Nepal, we conducted a survey during the Open Data Day. Out of 56 participants of the survey, there were 35 students and 21 professionals working in various sectors.
To the 56 participants, we asked them about the difficulties that they faced and that persist while accessing data that would help them in their work, we received the following responses:
About 86% said that data/information should be open and should be easily accessible. And it is perhaps the lack of awareness that the remaining 14% were not very sure how opening up certain data would help them or others.
Moreover, as people are engaged into different sectors, they marked that different data/information should be open. The areas that we had listed are:
The majority of the survey participants were students and they marked that they need open data to make their reports or even create applications and tools to help others understand the data. Also, there were few participants who said people have right to information and open data would reinforce such rights. There were few participants who said they need open data to conduct analysis.
Though people knew why they need open data, they did not seem to be clear enough about how information would make their reports or tools better and what were their intended impacts of the tools and analysis. However, participants seemed certain how availability and accessibility of data would help them.
In summary, the survey gave us an overall picture about the level of awareness of open data among the student population and consequently how there is so much space still to be filled with the awareness about open data. We also learnt that the general public is interested about open data, however it would be better if more information becomes available about the importance of open data and how to open up.