Recommendation 15

Recommendation 15: Communicate the benefits of integrating and using location information in digital public services

Implementation guidance Related information

helpWhy

 

  • Clear metrics provide powerful messages.
  • Communicating the benefits of strategic ‘infrastructure’ investments such as those related to data sharing and associated interoperability measures can be challenging and requires a different type of analysis to more straightforward ‘project’ investments.
  • Communication of benefits supports investment and demonstrates to taxpayers that public administrations are spending their money to good effect.
  • A business case investment approach based on evidence complements the evidence-based policy approach.
  • Demonstration of benefits and how they are achieved in particular use cases helps in promoting wider reuse and delivery of benefits by others.
  • User stories and examples of benefits are simpler to understand and more meaningful to most people than detailing the process followed, parties involved or technology used.
  • Data sharing initiatives, particularly those involving high value datasets, have the potential for very large-scale reuse and benefits. To maximise benefits needs reaching out to the widest possible number of stakeholders. Effective communication is vital to achieve this aim.

[Top]

HowHow

 

Purpose of communication

  • Communication of benefits is done for a range of different purposes:
    • To help create a ‘vision’ of what a policy or implementation project hopes to achieve. This will help secure interest and eventually support for the policy or implementation project. Different benefits may have different degrees of importance for different stakeholders. It is important to ‘target’ the benefits that will be important to these stakeholders (to obtain  political backing, to help secure investment), to deliver the widest possible benefit (largest number of stakeholders), to deliver the largest benefit (areas of most significant impact);
    • To secure commitment to a policy or project that will involve investment from multiple stakeholders (a national data programme may involve financial and time commitments from large numbers of stakeholders) or to secure financial backing within an organisation for its own proposed project or purchase. For these purposes, an ‘investment case’ will be needed that estimates net benefits (i.e. taking both benefits and costs into account). The investment also needs to be affordable (there is no point in having a good business case for a project for which funds are not available) and funding sources need to be clearly spelt out (this is particularly important where policies or projects involve distributed costs);
    • To secure further investment by demonstrating success of a policy or project (this may be the case for a phased investment, where an intermediate milestone needs to be reached before further funding is made available) or by highlighting variations in certain investment parameters (typically in costs) where a re-justification of the investment is needed;
    • To raise awareness of the initiative and its benefits to a wider stakeholder community. This may be done to encourage the adoption of the outputs of a project within an organisation (e.g. raising awareness with policy makers of an available location data service or location intelligence capability), to encourage target end-users to adopt a new location enabled digital public service (to broaden take-up and therefore delivery of benefits), or to raise awareness with stakeholders in other public or private sector organisations (to encourage participation, reuse of solutions, and extend the benefits);
    • To promote an available location data product or service, illustrate how it may be used and the benefits for users, with the aim of increasing take-up and thereby either increase revenue or support the need for continued or additional funding for the location data product or service. There may also be a skills transfer impact of the communication, which will help raise the capacity needed to deliver benefits across the stakeholder community.

Evidence collection

  • Use ‘strategic’ investment approaches, such as socio-economic analysis to assess overall market impacts, including impact on GDP of widespread re-use of high-quality interoperable location datasets. Key metrics such as impact on GDP present simple and powerful messages to support policies and investments. Evidence collected in one country can also encourage other countries to adopt similar approaches and help support cross border use cases.
  • Apply localised result analysis, such as the impact on air quality, noise, congestion. Local evidence can be collated to form a broader geographical picture. Alternatively, different local scenarios drawn from measured evidence can be modelled to provide a broader geographical assessment.
  • Indicators expressed in widely used terms can help in supporting investments and communication. Examples are local contributions to Sustainable Development Goals, expressed in terms of standardised indicators, INSPIRE monitoring results, European Open Data Maturity measurement, Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), Covenant of Mayors Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans.
  • Prepare ‘project’ business cases taking into account the potential benefits of an integrated approach to the use of location information in digital public services, using this information to inform investment decisions for particular services.
  • In all impact assessments / business cases, it is essential to state the assumptions underlying both costs and benefits. If these are stated, future outcomes can be compared against them and adjustments made where relevant.
  • Collect evidence on how the integration of location data and services can help public administrations improve their processes and achieve benefits. Measure benefits of particular investments to validate projected outcomes and make the case for further / continued funding.

Communication methods

  • The different types of benefit associated with the use of location data and intelligence capabilities are described in Recommendation 12 under ‘What types of benefit to target?’. The types of benefit include productivity benefits, economic or financial benefits, social or environmental benefits, innovation and effectiveness, and democratic benefits.
  • The types of benefit and information selected for communication will vary according to the purpose of the communication and the audience. Ensure the communication addresses the understanding and motivations of the target audience, for example whether they are policy or technically focused.
  • It can be valuable in communication to provide both the overall picture in terms of benefits and one or more illustrations or ‘user stories’ to bring the communication to life. Use real life case studies and user stories to highlight benefits in a way that is understandable to the audience. These can help show how the approach and benefits achieved in one administration may also be applicable in other administrations or how benefits derived by users of a new digital public service may also be obtained if other users take advantage of the service.
  • Include relevant quantitative and qualitative metrics in the communication to support the ‘case study’ or ‘user story’, for example the average time saved for each user, the cost saving for the administration, the improvement in environmental factors, or the improvement in user satisfaction in the introduction of the new service. Explanations of the before (ex-ante) and after (ex-post) scenarios can also be helpful in explaining how barriers have been removed and opportunities realised. Where possible the economic or financial impact should be included to convey the ‘value for money’ of a particular investment. A useful metric to present, in this respect, is the payback period for any investment.
  • Ensure a ‘balanced assessment’ is given to counter any scepticism in the audience. This may include giving details of different scenarios to highlight best, worst and typical cases, providing details of net benefits (i.e. outline the costs as well as the benefits) or saying something about the assumptions used or the process undertaken in making any assessments. Socio-economic assessments that demonstrate large GDP impacts can provide impressive ‘results’ for communication but it can be helpful to say something about the way the numbers have been derived, including the risk-adjustments that have been made.
  • In all cases of communication, the outcomes achieved should be highlighted. This should be accompanied by an appropriate degree of communication about how those outcomes were achieved, including the contribution of location data and interoperability measures. Where the audience is quite technical or the communication is to share knowledge on how something is done to achieve the benefits, a well-structured and detailed technical presentation will be relevant.
  • Sometimes, the ‘user story’ involves describing a relatively complex network to show how benefits are derived through the interactions of different actors in a digital ecosystem or how a digital or data infrastructure can help remove barriers and enable new capabilities and benefits. A visual representation of the ‘value chain’ can be helpful in the communication, together with an explanation of the role of different actors and the impact on them of the changes being communicated. An example is shown below, which is taken from a Frontier Economics geospatial data market study undertaken for the UK Geospatial Commission in 2020.

                                                   Autonomous vehicle geospatial value chain

Autonomous vehicle geospatial value chain
Source: Frontier, 2020
  • Another example, this time from Denmark, is highlighted in Annex II, Benefits Illustration 12. This shows the value chain in using free geodata to assess flood risk for the purposes of urban planning, disaster management, insurance underwriting etc. See SCALGO Live Flood Risk and the associated value chain in the following presentation: The Impact of Open Geodata – follow up study after 5 years.
  • Communicate benefits using relevant techniques appropriate to the purpose of the communication and the target audience. This may be factsheets, web-based documentation, videos, digital government ‘communication’ events involving public sector or external stakeholders etc.

Benefits illustrations

  • There are many examples of the benefits of location data and associated interoperability measures in different sectors and situations. See EULF Blueprint: Benefits Illustrations for some typical applications, each with a general summary of the types of benefit and one or more specific case studies to act as illustration. Benefits are described for the following applications:
Benefits Illustrations Case Studies
Benefits Illustration 1: European data programmes EU
Benefits Illustration 2: National data programmes DK
Benefits Illustration 3: Geospatial strategic reviews UK, AU, LT, NE
Benefits Illustration 4: Integration of data from external sources PT, INT
Benefits Illustration 5: Address data UK, DK
Benefits Illustration 6: Planning and construction SE
Benefits Illustration 7: Routing applications UK, NO, SE
Benefits Illustration 8: Public transport UK
Benefits Illustration 9: Catchment area and transport planning ES
Benefits Illustration 10: Asset maintenance BE, NE, UK
Benefits Illustration 11: Agriculture and fisheries AU, EU
Benefits Illustration 12: Environment DK, INT
Benefits Illustration 13: Healthcare KR, CZ, DE, FR, INT
Benefits Illustration 14: Fix My Street applications PT, INT
Benefits Illustration 15: Meteorological services INT, FI

INT = International

Benefits template

  • The following template can be used to summarise information relevant to the role of location data, interoperability measures and policy drivers, contributing to the benefits of an investment or policy change. This captures the main themes in the foregoing analysis.
Location interoperability benefits template
Heading / What to include
Name: Name of policy, project or service
Description: Description of policy, project or service
Stakeholders: Type / Role. Include different public administrations and external stakeholders.

Scope and role of location data: Main location data produced or used as well as the geographical extent. Role of location data. Role types include:

  • Location data is the service, e.g. location data download, average temperature records, map search by geographical name
  • Location data personalises, e.g. personalised advertising, my local weather
  • Location data adds intelligence, e.g. navigation system re-routing to avoid traffic congestion, forecasting earthquake events

Interoperability measures: List of interoperability measures incorporated in the policy or project implementation. For each measure, include:

  • Brief description of solution / enabler
  • Barrier(s) addressed
  • EULF Blueprint focus area / recommendation
  • EIF layer

Policy drivers: Policy name / relationship type / relationship description. Policy relationship types are:

  • Direct – This may be the policy requiring or even mandating the project. Without the direct policy link the project would not be needed or feasible.
  • Indirect – A policy that is supportive to the achievement of the project aims but not a sufficient reason for undertaking the project. If the indirect policy driver were not there, the project could still go ahead and would have to be justified by other means

Costs: Type / Stakeholders / Value / Method of measurement. Cost types include:

  • Development costs
  • Fixed costs (e.g. equipment and other physical resources)
  • Operational and maintenance costs (IT, data, user support)

Benefits: Type / Stakeholders / Value / Method of measurement. Benefit types include:

  • Productivity - time savings both within the public sector and burden reduction for external stakeholders (which may or may not equate to financial benefit)
  • Economic and financial (cost saving, revenue increase, GDP impact)
  • Social and environmental
  • Innovation and effectiveness (e.g. service quality and capabilities)
  • Democratic value (e.g. increased participation, transparency and trust)
Start date: Date of initial implementation
  • Below is an example of the use of the location interoperability benefits template in an important policy development in Denmark, ‘Good Basic Data for All’, and the associated implementation programme, the 'Basic Data Programme'.
Location interoperability benefits template - Example of use
Location interoperability benefits template - Basic Data Programme, Denmark

Name: Basic Data Programme

Description: ‘Good basic data for all’ was part of the Danish digitisation strategy 2011-2015. The vision was that basic data about individuals, businesses, real properties, buildings, addresses and more would be updated efficiently in one place and openly available to everyone, including the private sector. In this way, basic data would be a driver for efficiency and growth. The first free and open Basic Data was released in 2013 and the first standardised (interoperable) Basic Data was available through a ‘Common Data Distributor’ platform in 2017. The programme was completed in 2019.

Stakeholders: The Basic Data Programme stems from the agreement on ‘Good basic data for all’ between the government and KL (Association for Local governments in Denmark) in 2012. In 2013, the Danish Regions joined the agreement, making it binding for all of the public sector in Denmark. The programme was run by the Danish Digitisation Agency, within the Ministry of Finance. It operated at 3 levels:

  1. The Basic Data Programme Board, providing overall coordination;
  2. Steering groups, forums and secretariats covering topics such as architecture, standards and communication;
  3. Eight sub-programmes for to improve quality and make data interoperable, structured by data/policy domains.

Basic Data is distributed via a Basic Data Platform, which is the centre of a broad ecosystem of users, solution developers, and data and technology providers. There is a User Forum targeting broader use of Basic Data involving NGOs, citizens and SMEs.

The Basic Data Board was closed down in 2020 and operation of the Basic Data Platform and further development of Basic Data in Denmark transferred from the Danish Digitisation Agency to the Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency (NMCA

Scope and role of location data: The main Basic Location Data are Addresses, Roads, Cadastral parcels (real property), Administrative Units, Place names, Elevation and topological maps. Coverage is for the whole of Denmark. There are many uses. Some examples can be found here: https://sdfe.dk/data-skaber-vaerdi/maanedens-anvender-cases-og-temaer. Key roles / uses of the basic location data are:

  • Visualisation and administrative foundation
  • Integration between Basic Data registers and with non-basic data, e.g. to see that a person owns a specific house, located on a specific road, at a specific address in a specific administrative area
  • Spatial analysis and business intelligence, e.g. demographic, financial, taxation, health and several private solutions
  • Location based services/apps mainly provided by the private sector

Interoperability measures: The Basic Data Programme encompasses all 12 principles and 6 layers of the EIF and incorporates recommendations in all five focus areas of the EULF Blueprint. There is a Joint Public Digital Architecture based on the EIF, EIRA2 and other international frameworks and standards, including TOGAF and Archimate. See also, this white paper on the Common Public Sector Digital Architecture. A Common Public Sector Catalogue of Concept and Data Models is also available.

From a legal interoperability perspective, the programme is fully aligned with the Common Public Sector Digitisation Strategies and the different laws enacted to secure the Basic Data Programme and its interoperability between registers. Examples of legislative changes were the revisions to the laws on properties and addresses. The programme is also aligned with the Danish INSPIRE legislation and the Danish Act on processing of personal data (addressing GDPR).

Policy drivers: 

Direct policy drivers: Growth and efficiency, Open Data policy

The programme was mainly spurred by government foreseeing major economic challenges up to 2020:

  1. Denmark’s competitive position weakened and productivity growth insufficient
  2. Demographic profile – ageing population
  3. Tight public sector budget constraints

The implementation and further development of the Basic Data Programme has been part of the rolling public sector digitisation strategies from 2011 onwards. The agreement on Good Basic Data for All (2012) clearly states the purpose to support growth and efficiency. Furthermore, the agreement text for the Basic Data Programme describes how “open access to basic data in the private sector is a potential source of innovation, growth and new jobs” and “public data can be used for completely new types of digital products and solutions.

Indirect policy drivers: INSPIRE legislation

INSPIRE was an indirect policy driver as most of the Basic Location Data was already covered by the Danish INSPIRE law and hence should be made available in a standardised manner meaning that there was a data and service foundation already as well as a legislative foundation for parts of the programme. The Basic Data Programme could have been done without INSPIRE but INSPIRE was an inspiration for the concept and a tested example of the approach to standardisation and interoperability.

Costs: The first agreement in 2012 covered the estimated cost in the business case of EUR 125m up to 2016. In 2017, further funding of EUR 7.2m was agreed and granted via the Finance Act 2018. To establish and run the Basic Data Platform, a 4+4 year contract was awarded to KMD. This ran out in 2019 and the Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency now operates the platform. A second tender will be launched in 2021. It has been necessary to adjust the cost schedule several times during the programme. Delays led to increased costs of DKK 120.5m. By the time implementation was completed in 2019, total programme costs were DKK 616.7m.
During the Basic Data Programme, data owners in different administrations were compensated for making their Basic Data ‘free at point of use’ via adjustments to their allocations or block grants. Continued funding of Basic Data after 2019 is negotiated yearly as part of the National Finance Act

Benefits: The following programme benefits have been identified for different stakeholders:

Citizens:

  • Better public services in the form of speedier case processing and fewer errors
  • Less reporting to public authorities, for example to correct errors
  • Time savings through prefilling online forms with up-to-date basic data

Businesses:

  • Less red tape – less reporting and registration
  • Faster digitisation, fewer errors and more efficient and effective procedures
  • Cheaper procurement of public-sector data
  • Improved collaboration with the public sector through access to common data
  • Opportunity to develop new and improved data-related products and services and for new businesses to emerge

Public authorities:

  • Efficient and effective maintenance of basic data and fewer redundant registers
  • Operational savings in IT systems and update of data locally
  • Cheaper IT system development with access to basic data from a single source
  • Fewer manual workflows, fewer errors and shorter case-processing times
  • Improved control e.g. of payments, so that social welfare fraud can be reduced.

Cost benefit analysis

The Basic Data Programme was expected to reach EUR 100m annual savings for society by 2020, approximately 25% accruing to the public sector and 75% to the private sector. It was estimated that potential benefits of the programme would stabilise from 2017. Afterwards, benefits would exceed costs for all public entities. Moreover, better access to higher quality data could lead to economic growth in different sectors including real estate, telecommunications, and transport.

Socio-economic analysis

A baseline analysis was carried out estimating the socio-economic value of geodata in 2012 (pre open geodata). The analysis was repeated in 2016 (post open geodata). In both cases, information was collected through a survey of both public sector and private sector organisations. The follow-up study, published in 2017, reported an increase in the number of users of the online service from 800 to 60.000 and an increase in the number of site visits per annum from 800m to 3.3bn. Results from the analysis indicated that the socio-economic value of geodata more than doubled from an estimated 1.6 billion DKK in 2012 to 3.5 billion DKK in 2016.

Basic Data Programme Follow Up Study results

The method used for estimating the socio-economic value of geodata considered:

  • Increased innovation that can contribute to new solutions and higher productivity
  • Greater competition that can reduce prices and thereby increase real income and / or competitiveness
  • Welfare economic effects such as the time savings for citizens and businesses from the use of solutions or services involving geodata

Socio-economic value was considered as the combination of production effects + efficiency effects. For different stakeholder groups, this was calculated as follows:

Public sector

production effect = value of production / staff requirements

efficiency effect = cost savings in internal processes

Private sector

production effect = size / value of the market

efficiency effect = cost savings in internal processes

The Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency has recently published two analysis dealing with the value creation of open location data in the private sector and the value creation of open address data (in Danish).

Start date: January 2012

[Top]

helpChallenges

  • Data infrastructure investments and the associated interoperability measures can be difficult to justify, although they can be seen as a necessary ongoing maintenance cost. Benefits do not come from the availability of the data, or the ease of finding and combining the data with other data but from the use of the data to create value.
  • Monitoring and benchmarking in the context of digital public services often focuses on the main upstream activities of the value chain (readiness and availability), while the downstream elements (use and impact) are neglected because of the difficulty of finding this information.
  • Indicators can sometimes be difficult to measure, with information provided too vague, general or abstract. Involve professional investment analysts to validate indicators.
  • Impacts of new services or service improvements can be difficult to predict. This is why ongoing monitoring and targeting of improvements is needed. An iterative approach to service delivery and improvement (see recommendation 8) can also be beneficial.
  • It can be difficult to understand and therefore communicate the large-scale benefits of strategic data sharing to those not directly involved in the collection, processing and use of the data. Furthermore, data providers do not always have a strong grasp of the different uses of their data and developers looking for suitable data will look for the easiest ways of obtaining the data they need and may neglect strategic solutions for more tactical approaches. It is important that data providers consider the wide range of uses of their data and developers put effort into ensuring strategic data sources are able to meet their needs. Good communication amongst the immediate ecosystem partners comes before communication of results from their efforts.

[Top]

helpBest Practices

[Top]

Bar chart dark blue 32LIFO Monitoring

The Location Information Framework Observatory (LIFO) monitors the implementation of EULF Blueprint recommendations in European countries. Read about the implementation of Recommendation 15 in the LIFO Country Factsheets or the LIFO European State of Play Report. Explore the results for selected countries at LIFO Interactive Dashboards - Recommendations.

[Top] 

PuzzleRelated Frameworks: European Interoperability Framework (EIF)

EIF Pillars Recommendations
Underlying Principle 12: Assessment of effectiveness and efficiency Recommendation 19: Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of different interoperability solutions and technological options considering user needs, proportionality and balance between costs and benefits.

[Top]

PuzzleRelated Frameworks: UN-GGIM Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF)

Strategic Pathway 1: Governance and Institutions

Documentation Elements

Implementation Guide

Appendices

Leadership

Value Proposition

 

Actions Tools
3. Defining Value  
Strategic Alignment Study APP1.2: Strategic Alignment Template
Value Proposition Statement FIG1.6: Value Proposition Canvas
4. Setting Direction  
Geospatial Information Management Strategy

APP1.3: Guidance for Mission, Vision and Goals Statements

Future trends in geospatial information management: the five to ten year vision (third edition)

Global Statistical Geospatial Framework

Framework for Effective Land Administration

Strategic Framework on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters

COVID-19: Ready to Respond - The role of the Geospatial Community in Responding to COVID-19

Change Strategy  
5. Creating a Plan of Action  
Country-level Action Plan APP1.4: Country-level Action Plan Template
5. Tracking Success  
Monitoring and Evaluation APP1.5: Monitoring and Evaluation Template
Success Indicators APP1.6: Success Indicators

Strategic Pathway 2: Policy and Legal

Documentation Elements

Implementation Guide

Appendices

Governance and Accountability

Actions Tools
4. Future Proofing  
Future Proofing  
6. Delivering Compliance  
Impact Assessment  

 

Strategic Pathway 3: Financial

Documentation Elements

Implementation Guide

Appendices

Business Model

Opportunities

Investment

Benefits Realisation

Actions Tools
2. Situational Assessment  
Current Business Model APP3.4: Example of a Business Model Canvas
3. Financial Plan  
Desired Business Model APP3.5: Developing a Business Model - Some Considerations
4. Case for Investment  
Socio-Economic Impact Assessment APP3.7: Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Approach
Business Case APP3.8: Components of a Business Case
Investment Appraisal  
6. Deriving Value  
Benefits Realisation  
Communicate Benefits  

Strategic Pathway 9: Communication and Engagement

Documentation Elements

Implementation Guide

Appendices

Stakeholder and User Engagement

Strategic Messaging

Strategy, Plans and Methods

Monitoring and Evaluation

Actions Tools
1. Providing Leadership  
Communication and Engagement Strategy  
Working Group  
Internal Communication  
2. Understanding Opportunities  
Stakeholder Identification

APP9.1: Categories of Stakeholders

APP9.2: Identifying and Classifying Stakeholders

Stakeholder Analysis APP9.3: Stakeholder Analysis Matrix
3. Setting Direction  
Policy Platform  
Geospatial Brand  
Strategic Messages  
4. Creating Plan of Action  
Communication Plan

APP9.4: Stakeholder Analysis and Communication

APP9.5: Stakeholder Communication Plan

Communication Methods

APP9.6: Communication Methods

APP9.7: Communication Methods - Advantages and Disadvantages

5. Monitoring Progress  
Review and Evaluation APP9.8: Review and Evaluation - Methods for Benchmarking
Stakeholder Surveys  
6. Communicating Value  
Benefits Communications  
Lessons Learned Resource  

[Top]

Marker Small 2ELISE Resources

Type Resource Date
Study Assessment of economic opportunities and barriers related to geospatial data in the context of the Digital Single Market 2018
Study Digital Platform for Public Services 2018
Study The Role of spatial data infrastructures in the digital government transformation of public administrations: See impact section which gathers indicators concerning the breadth of usage of the SDI and the benefits derived, as well as the cross-border perspective. 2019
Study Leveraging the Power of Location Information and Technologies to Improve Public Services at the Local Level 2021
Study Quantifying the benefits of location interoperability in the European Union 2022
Survey / Benchmarking Location Interoperability Framework Observatory delivers value for participants across Europe 2022
Video Inspiring experiences and lessons learned from the INSPIRE Community: What are the benefits of INSPIRE implementation so far? 2021
Webinar The Role of Geospatial for Digital Government Transformation 2019
Webinar The Role of Spatial Data Infrastructures for Digital Government Transformation   2019
Webinar Location enabled public services 2020
Pilot / Testbed EULF Transportation Pilot - A model implementation in the ITS domain involving sharing of safety-related road data in Norway and Sweden that can be followed by other countries 2014 - 2017

[Top]

helpFurther Reading

[Top]

Version: EULF Blueprint v5.1