Open Data and Big Data Initiatives Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker

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Introduction

Open Data is gaining significant weight in several areas as they are produced and gathered by relevant authorities in order to make data available to the public without any classifications or restrictions on use, dissemination, or publication. Rights of privacy, security and confidentiality is respected while being published by the Bahrain Open Data Portal; thus, improving government transparency and public participation.

Open Data Strategy

In accordance with the directions set by the eGovernment Strategy of Kingdom of Bahrain and endorsed by the Supreme Council for ICT, Information & eGovernment Authority has adopted the Open Government Data Strategy set forth below as a fundamental strategy on promoting the use of public data when supporting open government with the understanding that public data is an asset of the people. 

Open Data Policy

The Open Data Policy of the Kingdom of Bahrain outlines the principles, and guidelines related to the Government’s efforts to make data routinely available in a machine-readable format for any public use. The Open Data Policy reaffirms the Government’s commitment to Open Government Policy and assists the Government in enriching customer service and proactively addressing inquiries and complaints in a timely and accurate manner.

Big Data

Due to availability of big data, government apparatus has been able to carry-out several projects that require an analysis of a wealth of information such as the population count. The count is conducted by the Administrative and Population Registry System which is engaged by government agencies, considered as a key and basic source of vital statistics, with an increasing reliance on technology information and its uses - which resulted in savings in terms of costs, time and efforts.

The monthly release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a good example to indicate how  information are gathered from several sources. Such information are subsequently calculated and analyzed by an electronic format. As a result, its findings provide evidence of true indicators of the inflation rates in the Kingdom.

The tourism industry survey heavily relies on administrative registries as it is split-up into inbound and outbound tourism, monthly hotel surveys, and yearly hotel facility surveys. These surveys are excellent tools to make use of the administrative registries, through which valuable information can be gained about the figures of tourist passengers through checking points as part of the survey sampling, together with a core focus on hotel industry revenues, determining the annual survey sampling, as well as investigating the general features of facilities. Insights can be gained from the administrative registries to identify the absorptive capacity of hotels and serviced apartments (as indicated in the number of rooms and households as to hotels, along with the number of units as to serviced apartments.

Another example is the use of satellites in carrying-out agricultural census conducted as part of the general population census and housing, buildings, installations as well as agriculture in 2010 as a key source to obtain accurate statistical information, which can be accomplished within a short span of time and at low costs compared to conventional survey methods. The final outcome is to have maps, including locations for plants, and agricultural areas which are geographically associated with the coordinates, in addition to the surface area of each type of the available agricultural plants.

There are efforts made to make use of communication data as big data should be analyzed without prejudice to the privacy of individuals.

Open Data App Store

Available via www.data.gov.bh , Bahrain Open Data Portal was set-up to allow every public and private entity to gain access to data that assist in decision-taking.

There are several open data-oriented economic as well as social projects such as the new strategy for government subsidies, formulation of an action plan to set-up schools and institutes, efficiency review of government procedures, export and import budgetary planning as well as identification of the impact of population density on government services.

Several projects and application are submitted by students and faculty, which are dedicated to open data:

  • Bahrain Indicators: The information, made available by the Bahrain Indicators App, is based on open data portal at www.data.gov.bh 
  • Bahrain Stats : The statistical information, made available by Bahrain Stats, is based on the open data provided by various ministries and governmental agencies in the Kingdom.
  • Amakin : This application provides users with locations and allows searching within a distance of 5Km.
  • VegeMarket : This app provides users with daily prices of vegetables and fruits.
  • Bahrain Data Explorer: Provides several advanced features in areas covering the analysis and measurement of statistical indicators through searching, maps and indexes.

Impact of Open Data and Big Data Initiatives

The open and big data projects have directly contributed to make savings in budget, time, and efforts in order to publish, search and analyze such data. The process in gaining access to open data is speeded-up from three to four weeks, to online access through the internet.

Over BD. 20 million was saved directly or by reducing human resources expenditures and red-tapism.

Suggest a Dataset

The Information & eGovernment Authority produces great amount of data that can be used for helping build the infrastructures of the kingdom, improve economy, health, education etc.  Moreover, it ensures that all stakeholders are able to access these vast amounts of official datasets available through the Bahrain Open Data Portal .

The Open Data Portal provides all interested parties with easy access to a wealth of official data which is sourced from all Governmental entities based on their specific roles and responsibilities, and is made available using several formats, including raw data and graphical representations.

To ensure that the Open Data Portal facilitates the dissemination of Data in line with Bahrain Government’s strategy, the authority provides the public with the possibility to suggest data for inclusion on the Open Data Portal via this form , or by sending suggestions through the National Suggestions & Complaints System “Tawasul” .


Page Last Updated: 22 Apr, 2021