Frequently Asked Questions

What is Open Data?

Open Data refers to the public release of government data, with an open licence, which is free of charge for anyone to use and reuse for any purpose. Open data is provided in accessible formats, meaning that it is machine readable and is structured in a logical way. For numerical files (spreadsheets), some common open formats include XLS or CSV. For text files, common formats include TXT.

The Open Government Licence - Newfoundland and Labrador allows for use of the data without technical or legal restriction and can be used for commercial and non-commercial use.

Why should data be open? What are the benefits?

Government collects and holds a large volume of different types of data which in most instances can, by law, be publicly released. This data can be a valuable resource if it is made available publicly. Releasing data increases government transparency, promotes economic and business development opportunities, contributes to informed labour market decisions, leads to improved government effectiveness and efficiency, and allows for broader participation in the work and direction of Government.

Who will use Open Data?

Open Data will be available to any interested user. We expect that it will be of particular interest to researchers, academics, students, and businesspeople who want to access, use and reuse it for innovation and decision-making.

How will government decide which open data it will make available?

The type of open data to be made available will depend upon the requests we receive from data users, and the quality and state of readiness of the data that we have. To ensure quality, The Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency validates all data before it is released.

We encourage you to contact us with suggestions for new open data that we can consider releasing. We are also reaching out to people across the province to seek input on specific types of open data we should consider for public release. Based on this input we will determine which open data is of most interest, and plan to make it available where possible.

We will review all ideas and provide you with feedback on the availability and readiness of the open data requested.