What is open data?

Currently, if people search online for an exercise class, it’s difficult for them to find all the information they need, without searching through multiple different sites and pages. Even then, there might still be gaps in the information, it might not be up to date, or it might not be clear enough for someone to make an informed choice. 

OpenActive is a community-led initiative to support the physical activity sector to share information faster, smarter and more accurately. It helps people to find the right activities for them, and helps organisations reach new customers. To put it simply, OpenActive wants to make booking a badminton court as simple as booking a hotel room on the other side of the world!

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Why does the physical activity sector need open data?

OpenActive supports organisations that provide physical activities to open up their data.  This is the data that is already published via their website, social media or flyers, including things such as your class timetables, the price of a session and the location of your facilities.  Don’t worry, this does not include any personal data.

Once your data is published openly, it can be used as part of new innovative products and services, increasing your audience size and reaching new types of customers. The ‘This Girl Can’ and ‘Change4Life’ campaigns, and activity finders like classfinder and Decathlon Play, all use open opportunity data, and the more data that is open, the more innovation we will see in the sector.

  • Physical activity classes, sessions and facilities will be marketed to a far wider audience than ever before - activity finders such as Public Health England’s ‘Change 4 Life’ can reach millions of potential customers.
  • New ways of reaching the more vulnerable groups of people that may struggle to be physically active i.e people with disabilities - detailed data about the sessions, including accessibility information, can make it far easier to reach these audiences.
  • Your chance to fill up class spaces and underutilised facility slots increases massively - a recent study saw one leisure operator increase their customer base by over 11,500 customers simply by opening their data.
  • The study also showed that one leisure operator saw a 26% uplift in facility utilisation after opening its data.

How to open your data?

To find out more about registering your activities, visit Open Active's website here and follow their guide or get in touch with Hazel Musgrove (Strategic Lead - Evidence and Evaluation).