Structured data

Data should be structured and interoperable

  1. Beneficial ownership data should be available as structured data, with each declaration conforming to a specified data model or template.
  2. Data should be available digitally, including in a machine readable format.
  3. Data should be available in bulk as well as on a per record basis.

The utility of beneficial ownership data is enhanced when the data is available in a structured format. This allows the data to be easily analysed and linked with other datasets, enhancing the data’s utility to expose transnational networks of illicit financial flows and support effective and timely due diligence. When beneficial ownership data is structured and interoperable it is also easier to verify, as a greater range of verification mechanisms can be used. The Beneficial Ownership Data Standard (BODS) is a template for publishing structured data about beneficial ownership in a format (JSON) that can be read and understood by computer systems around the world.

When data is machine readable and available in bulk, multiple disclosures can be analysed together. This allows users such as Financial Intelligence Units, banks, and journalists to apply data science and machine learning techniques to identify suspicious patterns of ownership or beneficial owners that appear on other datasets of interest (for example, sanctions lists). Where the private sector and civil society have access to beneficial ownership data in bulk, evidence shows that innovations can drive development of new due diligence products and identification of potential corruption cases.


Resources

Briefing: The case for beneficial ownership as open data

Open data is digital “structured” or “machine-readable” data that is “made available with the technical and legal characteristics necessary for it to be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone, anytime, anywhere.” In other words, any user of open beneficial ownership data should be able to access the data, search it freely and/or download it as structured data – for example, a .csv file that can be imported into Excel – , and use it for any purpose.

Inherent in this definition is that the data should be accessible to the public, which we cover in another briefing (“The case for public beneficial ownership data”). Here, we briefly cover the benefits of publishing beneficial ownership as structured data.

View document

Stay up-to-date

Join the growing community of OpenOwnership champions and innovators. You will receive regular updates on what’s happening around the world, exciting tools and latest research.
Thank you for signing up to receive news and updates from OpenOwnership. We will treat your information with respect. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at support@openownership.org We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.

This Website Uses Cookies

We use Google Analytics to help us understand website traffic, webpage usage and enhance the functionality of our website and improve your user experience. We do not capture your personal data or transfer it to anyone else, or use any third-party cookies. You can disable the use of cookies from your browser settings. By closing this message and continuing to use our website you consent to our use of cookies.