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From Pilots to Kickoff: The Open Data Initiative

12 March 2018

For an introduction to this project, please consult the ICANN Open Data Initiative page.

ICANN's Open Data Initiative produced a number of early pilots as part of an exercise in making data available via both an application program interface (API) and online, interactive tools. These pilots were open for feedback and allowed researchers and the community to access data in convenient formats, as well as a set of tools to interpret and visualize the data. The early pilots were all based on the same data sets, but each of them were implemented through different tools and approaches.

The early pilots were available for a limited time, with the goal of the pilots to generate discussion and providing feedback on the future course of the Open Data Initiative.

In general, the feedback was positive. However, the number of respondents was low, likely due to the lack of engagement and marketing that usually goes along with a full open data initiative.

Description of the Early Pilots

The early pilots were based on the Registry Monthly Reports of Activity and Transactions. These reports are currently publicly available, after a three-month delay.

The objective of the organization in making the pilots available for trial by the community was to begin exploring, in concrete terms, what open data can mean to the data sets managed by ICANN. Discussion and feedback regarding experiences with the pilots has been solicited to help shape a path forward.

Limitation of the Early Pilots

Because the early pilots involve a small collection of commercial vendors and are based on a select set of ICANN's many data sets, it is important to keep in mind that these pilots are not an adequate measure of one vendor's tools against the other vendors. The Registry Monthly Reports, while often the subject of research interests, are not representative of the data sets.

Going Forward to the Kickoff

The ODI project continues to make good progress after the success of the pilots. An RFP to select an open data platform has been initiated. Plans call for a vendor to be selected by July 2018.

Please see the ODI page for progress and updates.


Matt Larson

Matt Larson

Vice President, Research, and Managing Director - Washington D.C.