Business Scenario: Open Public Sector Data – Actors and their Roles and Responsibilities


Human Actors and Roles

“Human” is here taken to mean “legal person”. The human actors include organizations as well as individual people. They are listed with their roles and concerns in the following table.

Human Actors and their Roles

Human Actor



Person or organization that the data is about:

·  May be concerned about the quality of the data

·  Can input to improve the quality of the data

·  May be concerned about visibility of the data

·  Can request privacy or publicity, and may have a right to privacy

Subject Owner

Person or organization that owns the entity that the data is about, when this is not a person or organization. For example, the owner of a building that appears in a street plan. Has a similar role to a subject, with similar concerns.


Person or organization that creates the data:

·  Makes data available to the publisher

·  May be the subject (e.g., citizen completing census form)

·  May create data with inanimate subject (e.g., a map)

·  Responsible for quality of the data

·  Often has IPR in the data


Public sector organization that selects, formats, and publishes the data:

·  May be the creator, and possibly also the subject (e.g., when a council publishes its meeting minutes)

·  Responsible for availability, discoverability, and quality

·  Responsible for protecting rights of creator, subject, and subject owner


Person or organization that uses the data; e.g., citizen, political interest group, social enterprise, commercial company:

·  Concerned about availability, discoverability, and quality

·  May wish to process the data using computers, in which case wants machine-readable format

·  May wish to read it manually, in which case wants human-readable format

Commercial Product or Service Supplier

Person or organization that produces and sells product or service using the data; e.g., media company, insurance company:

·  Responsible for product or service quality

·  Responsible for protecting rights of creator, etc.

·  Concerned about availability, discoverability, and quality

·  May wish to process data using computers or manually

Computer Actors and Roles

The computer actors and their roles are listed in the following table.

Computer Actors and their Roles

Computer Actor


Data Store

Holds the data.

Provider Application

Used by creator or publisher to create, manage, or process the data.


Used by publisher to make the data available.


Used by consumer to read the data, particularly when it is unstructured.

Consumer Application

Used by consumer to process the data and display the results, particularly when it is structured.