Technical Tips are quick ways to improve your data which you can easily apply for your next publication. This time: what do I do with the activity’s data when the activity closes?

The answer is simple. You keep it online. IATI data is useful well after the activity has ended, and we still use it years after you have finalised the last update. For example: we often check which kind of activities we have funded in a certain country, now and in the past. Some other users of your data, for example in the countries you work in themselves, analyse IATI data on certain topics, they may check if a certain part of the world is underserved in certain ways… There are all sorts of reasons why you never take the activity down. So set the status to ‘closed’, fill in the actual end date, maybe add a few final documents, and keep it online. Perhaps also check one last time if you have linked to your donor in each relevant transaction. This is very important for our dashboards.

For some organisations, the data quality of past activities is not as good as the more recent data. When you can, try and improve those activities. Start with quick fixes (for example our ever growing list of Technical Tips) and include the old activities in any quality checks you do on your data. This will help enormously in any dashboards we make, and make your organisation better visible in overviews internationally.

Of course, always be aware that the situation in a country may change. If your partners or your beneficiaries could run risks because of projects you did in the past, check what you should do in our article on sensitive data.

Some publishing tools may charge you for the number of activities you have online at one time. If this is becoming an issue for you, contact us.

Check out other technical tips from the Helpdesk Open Data! And if you haven’t yet, subscribe to our newsletter for future quick fixes which will improve your data instantly.