Step by step

Data Publishing Process

City staff: Prepare your department dataset and publish it for the public to use.

Unsure whether you want to publish data? Read about the benefits of sharing data before you begin.


Book office hours with DataSF


1 hour

If you want to publish data, book office hours with DataSF to get started.

Someone from our team will meet with you to:

  • Discuss the value, risks, and uses of your datasets

  • Answer any questions

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Decide if your data is safe to publish

Optional step


3-5 hours

If you are sure your data is safe to publish (it does not carry a privacy or security risk), you can move on to the next step.

If your data carries a privacy or security risk, you will need to make changes to reduce the risk. 

We've created toolkits to help you decide if your data is safe to publish and what to do next.

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Upload your data to the Open Data Portal


1 hour

To share your data with the public, we need to move it from wherever it lives (your database, system, app, spreadsheet, etc.) onto our platform. This process is often referred to a "extract, transform, load" (ETL) or building a data pipeline.

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Write your metadata


1-2 hours

Metadata is the information you will include with your dataset when you publish it.

It should help people understand how to use the dataset and how the dataset was made.

Here is how to write your metadata.

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Review and publish your data


1 hour

After you've completed all steps, review your data and metadata.

If everything looks good, hit publish to make your data public.

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Last updated July 18, 2023