Written by Georgia Carr • Dundee City Council

Open Data and designing public services

Data is a raw material for the digital age from which information and knowledge is created. Give data context and it becomes information. Use that information for your own needs and it becomes knowledge. With knowledge comes power. Data should provide the evidence in our decision-making process when designing public services, making them more efficient, innovative and effective.

A free democratic resource


Open data is like any other data, except it is completely free and accessible to use, reuse and share by anyone for anything, even commercially. Ideally it is shared in human as well as a machine readable formats making it valuable to interested citizens and programmers alike. It can be visualised, analysed, and combined with other sources, all without restriction.


By opening up data, we promote democracy and transparency; enabling our city residents to be more directly informed and involved in decision-making and service design. Striving for a full “read/write” society — not just about knowing what is happening in the process of governance, but being able to contribute to it.


Dundee's Open Data

Dundee City Council collects huge amounts of data ranging across all areas of our city; from footfall in the town centre, to the number of red squirrels inhabiting Camperdown Country Park. Our open data platform acts as a single point of access for data released under an Open Government License and can be found at We welcome requests for data that you would like to see opened, and can be submitted on the website. 

Learn more about Open Data

What is Open Data and how is it useful?

Link to the European Data Portal e-learning programme


Using open data to deliver public services

How open data can be used in public service delivery and its potential for collaboration, joint problem-solving and open innovation


The Open Data Institute’s list of tools that support the use of open data in improving public services

The Dundee City Open Data portal

A single point of access for data resources released under an Open Government License by several different organisations across Dundee City

Twitter -


How other places use it

Examples of other data portals providing local, national and international datasets:

Perth and Kinross Council Open Data -

Edinburgh City Council Open Data -

North Ayrshire Council Open Data -

NHS Scotland Open Data –

Open data published by central government, local authorities and public bodies in the UK –

European Union Open Data Portal –


Most, if not all data is free to use without restriction. More information about the Open Government License: