What is open data?

This includes the type of activity, where and when it's taking place, and the availability. It is data that activity providers and leisure operators usually want to be seen by customers, for example through their own booking platforms. Making it open means it can reach customers in more ways. Once it is published as open data, anyone can access, use and share it. It does not include personal data about customers, or commercially restricted data such as data about participation levels. On occasion, it may include personal data about an individual fitness instructor’s name and contact details that have been provided for the purpose of booking or querying activities they offer.

Why does the physical activity sector need open data?

At any one time,  27.8% of people in Greater Manchester are inactive. Among the barriers they face, both emotional and practical, is a lack of information on what is available to them. Publishing data openlyhas the power to help improve services, grow participation and therefore create a healthier population. Open data can help get more people active.

  • Improving the users’ experience: By publishing quality open data, providers will make it easier for websites and apps to use it and create information that people can act on. Enabling people to easily find and book activities will help increase participation. This will improve user satisfaction and ultimately create a better experience for people.

Creating Innovation in the sector: Open data is driving a new wave of innovative apps, websites and products. By publishing data openly, activity providers and national bodies can help stimulate new ideas and ways for getting people active.

Benefitting activity providers: The more data about activities is openly available, the more people are likely to find out about and attend those activities. Opening up data can help increase both the number and the variety of participants, and boost revenue for activity providers. Open data can also improve efficiency for activity providers, since by using it they can avoid repeat data collection.

Data in the travel sector. Can we get there?

When you search for a holiday online you find the same hotel featured on lots of different websites, each with accurate information and a simple booking process. That’s because Expedia, Hotels.com and Lastminute.com all use the same data, which is shared by the hotels’ booking systems according to defined standards.

We can do the same in the physical activity sector, with activity providers making data about their activities available as open data. Once open, these opportunities can then be made more visible through a range of apps and services - from HR departments getting their employees more active, to health insurance companies promoting activities to their membership, to improving search results on Google.

How to sign up

Registering your activities is really simple, visit Open Active's website here and follow their guide.