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Implementation plan: Comparable and interoperable data 

This implementation plan provides a timeline for activities that support meeting our obligations as a signatory to the international Open Data Charter.


Period covered by this plan

1 July 2021–31 December 2021. 


Engagement with the wider data system is a key element to raising awareness of the Open Data Charter (the Charter), especially the principle of Comparable and Interoperable. Reaching out to the open data community will allow input and identification of barriers preventing agencies from creating more comparable and interoperable data. 

      • Finalise external engagement plan by 1 August 2021.
      • Reconnect with Open Data Champions by 1 August 2021. 

Supporting standardisation across the data system 

Standardisation helps to create consistent data which can be easily compared across the system. 

      • Set up Implementation and Review Committee (responsible for providing an agency/organisation perspective on topics that will have mandated data standards) by 30 September 2021. 
      • Scope the size of the review of the 'Ethnicity' standard by 31 December 2021.
      • Mandate 'Gender, Sex and Variations of Sex Characteristics' standard by 31 December 2021.
      • Complete public consultation for the 'iwi classification' update by 31 December 2021.
      • Complete Harmonised System update in collaboration with Customs by 31 December 2021.

Improving documentation and guidelines for open data 

Documentation and guidance about data that is written in clear, plain language ensures users have sufficient information to understand the source, strengths, weaknesses, and analytical limitations of the data. This guidance can help users to better understand the context as well as other factors that may impact analysis or comparisons when using the data. 

      • Update open government data information and guidance on by 30 September 2021. 
      • Publish guidance on how to output data on 'Gender, Sex and Variations of Sex Characteristics' by 31 December 2021. 

Understanding barriers to comparable and interoperable data 

To encourage comparable and interoperable data across the data system, we must understand the barriers agencies face in applying this principle to their data. 

        • Report on the barriers preventing agencies from providing and creating more comparable and interoperable data by 1 October 2021. 

Barriers report

Review process

We will review this plan in 3 months and may update it with additional content. We'll publish a progress report following the initial 6 months and will also outline our intentions for 2022. 

Contact us

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback, email

Content last reviewed 23 December 2021.