Exploring Government Officials’ Data Seeking Behaviors in Open Data Initiatives
|Keywords:||開放資料;資料蒐集;資料尋求;資料篩選;資訊尋求;Open Data;data collecting;data seeking;data selecting;information seeking||Issue Date:||2016||Abstract:||
近年來，世界各國相繼實施政府資料開放計畫；至今，全球已有超過50個國家開始以無技術障礙的格式，線上公開政府擁有的原始資料，供大眾無償獲取與自由使用。這股潮流使許多領域的學者開始由不同角度研究相關現象，產出大量文獻。 然而，眾多政府開放資料研究中，卻少有研究關注政府資料開放過程的細節，尤其是開放過程之初的資料蒐集階段。該階段中，政府開放資料承辦人員尋求組織轄下資料集以供開放，影響後續階段的作業需求與使用者最終有機會取用的資料集，為政府資料開放過程的重要環節，值得探究。 為彌補此研究缺口，本研究探討下列問題，由我國政府開放資料承辦人員的資料尋求歷程，歸納開放資料承辦單位的資料蒐集過程：(一)政府開放資料承辦人員為何尋求擬開放資料集？(二)政府開放資料承辦人員如何發掘擬開放資料集？(三)政府開放資料承辦人員如何篩選擬開放資料集？(四)政府開放資料承辦人員如何獲取擬開放資料集？(五)政府開放資料承辦人員如何尋求輔助業務執行的資訊？ 本研究以半結構深度訪談法，經下列步驟蒐集研究資料。首先，研究者以前人提出的資訊尋求行為模型為基礎，建立研究架構，設計訪談大綱。接著，研究者透過立意抽樣與滾雪球抽樣徵求受訪者，徵得15名來自11個中央與地方機關的政府開放資料承辦人員，包括高階主管、中階主管及基層人員。最後，研究者分析訪談所獲資料，歸納資料尋求歷程模型，並比較本研究與前人研究發現。 研究結果顯示，政府開放資料承辦人員乃基於自主意願、上級要求或外部倡議而實施政府資料開放政策。尋求資料時，開放資料承辦人員首先應用有關資料發掘方法與資料需求的資訊，經需求導向、非需求導向及折衷導向三種資料發掘流程，發掘組織轄下資料集。接著，開放資料承辦人員應用有關資料篩選方法與資料需求的資訊，與資料產製單位成員及組織首長或高階主管，經初步排序、排序討論及最終決策三步驟，在組織慣性、個人工具理性、資料提供者性質、資料使用者性質及資料性質的影響下，篩選擬開放資料集。最後，開放資料承辦人員應用有關資料獲取方法與資料來源的資訊，向資料產製單位獲取擬開放資料集，完成資料蒐集業務。 為順利完成資料蒐集業務，政府開放資料承辦人員亦會尋求有關資料需求、資料來源及資料尋求方法的資訊，以輔助資料蒐集業務執行。而開放資料承辦人員尋求資訊的積極程度受到個人工具理性、個人心理、人際關係、組織環境及資訊需求性質的影響。尋求資訊時，開放資料承辦人員對於資訊來源與自身所處環境的認知，會影響其資訊尋求途徑的選擇。透過多種資訊尋求途徑，開放資料承辦人員表現鏈結、瀏覽、追蹤、區辨、擷取及核實六種資訊尋求行為特徵；其中，僅有對相關業務的企圖心較強的開放資料承辦人員才會表現追蹤、區辨、擷取及核實四種行為。此資訊尋求歷程反覆循環，直至資訊需求終獲滿足為止。在此歷程中，開放資料承辦人員的資訊需求可區辨程度會隨著相關業務的執行與相關資訊的獲取而增加。 本研究由我國政府開放資料承辦人員的視角，初探政府資料開放過程中，資料蒐集階段下的細部歷程。有意實施政府資料開放政策的組織可參考本研究，以設計相關制度。基於研究結果，本研究建議實施相關政策的機關建置組織共構資訊系統，促進內部資料管理與交換，並於資料蒐集階段併用需求導向、非需求導向及折衷導向的資料發掘流程；同時，本研究也建議相關政策的主政機關建立開放資料承辦單位分享業務執行經驗的平台，以促進經驗交流。至於未來研究則可奠基於本研究成果，繼續探討資料篩選決策體系類型與其差異性成因、影響因素權重與關係、實施相關政策的先後對資料尋求歷程的影響、各國資料蒐集過程差異等研究主題。
The implementation of Open Government Data (OGD) initiatives has become a worldwide phenomenon in government administrations over the last decade. Attracted by the belief of enhancing governmental transparency and the potential of value-adding data to spur economic growth, more and more government agencies are releasing government-possessed raw data online in non-proprietary formats for free access and reuse by the public. This trend also grabs the attention of scholars from various disciplines, and results in manifold OGD studies. However, few studies have looked into the details of the data opening processes. Particularly, there has been limited research exploring the data collecting phase, which is the preliminary phase that government agencies seek and prepare datasets for OGD purposes. This phase is critical because its outcomes can influence the subsequent data opening processes and the datasets that open data users could access and reuse. Therefore, the data collecting phase is worth a more profound investigation. To bridge the research gap, this study sheds light on the data collecting phase at the micro level by exploring government officials’ data seeking behaviors with the following research questions: (1) Why do government officials undertake data seeking tasks? (2) How do government officials discover datasets to open? (3) How do government officials select datasets to open? (4) How do government officials obtain datasets to open? (5) How do government officials seek information to facilitate their data seeking activities? In order to answer these research questions, qualitative data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with a protocol developed based on a research framework, deriving from several information seeking models of the literatures. Fifteen government officials were recruited as interviewees from eleven central and local government agencies by purposive and snowball sampling. After the qualitative data analysis, important findings were revealed, discussed, compared with former studies, and organized to form a model of data seeking process. As shown in the model, government officials’ engagements in data seeking tasks were due to individual self-imposition, the requirement of higher-level authorities, and the advocacy of external parties. In addition, the formation of data seeking tasks was found to trigger the subsequent data seeking phases including data discovering, data selecting, and data obtaining. First, potential datasets and data sources were identified through external-directed, internal-directed, or hybrid method during the data discovering phase. Then, during the data selecting phase, influenced by organizational inertia, instrumental rationality, data provider characteristics, data user characteristics, and datasets characteristics, government officials of the OGD departments and the data-generating departments, and their higher-level executives reviewed the discovered datasets to determine which datasets to be opened to the public with respective priorities. Finally, in the data obtaining phase, the selected datasets were either first obtained by the OGD departments for opening or directly released by the data-generating departments. It was found that during the various phases of data seeking process, government officials also looked for information regarding data needs, data sources, and data seeking methods to facilitate the accomplishment of data seeking tasks. Government officials’ choices of information seeking approaches varied and were affected by their respective awareness of the residing environments and information sources that they intended to retrieve information from. In terms of the various adopted information seeking approaches, chaining and browsing were the two features of information seeking behaviors performed by all the interviewees of the study. Nevertheless, the other four features, including monitoring, differentiating, extracting, and verifying, were only found to be performed by government officials who had been behaving actively and positively toward OGD initiatives. In addition, it was found that government officials’ information seeking behaviors were influenced by instrumental rationality, information sources characteristics, and respective information needs. Lastly, the loops of the information seeking process continued until one’s information needs became gradually discernible and were eventually deemed satisfied. With the aforementioned findings, this study contributes to both OGD practices and research. Several suggestions are offered as follows. For OGD practices, it is suggested that government agencies establish federated data repositories within their own agencies to enhance internal data exchange and management. Agencies may also consider applying external-directed, internal-directed, and hybrid data discovering methods simultaneously during the process of data seeking to achieve better effectiveness and efficiency. It is also recommended that platforms be established for encouraging the sharing and exchange of data seeking experiences among government agencies. In terms of future OGD research, further studies should investigate additional types of data selecting procedures and the causes of their differences. The weights and the causal relationships among the influential factors are also worth further explorations. It will also be interesting to investigate the differences of data seeking processes between early and late adopters of OGD initiatives. Lastly, future comparative research can also be conducted to understand the differences of data seeking processes from a cross-country perspective.
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