How to Use
Open Budgets India is a comprehensive and user-friendly Open Data Portal on Budgets in India which aims to facilitate free, easy and timely access to relevant data on budgets.
The home page of the portal is divided into five sections, namely:
The first section of the portal, which is the header, contains five separate tabs arranged from left to right as follows:
This segment has three separate drop-down menus. They are:
i) How to Use: It is a user’s guide to the portal and its various components.
ii) FAQs: It addresses some of the frequently asked questions related to the portal.
iii) About Us: It provides a brief introduction about the portal and the team which developed the portal. It also provides information about the funders of Open Budgets India and other organisations involved in the project.
This tab opens onto a separate page and explains in an easy to understand language, the fundamental concepts and definitions related to budgets for different tiers of government. This page is divided into four segments - Introduction, Union Budget, State Budgets and Municipal Corporation Budgets. Graphical representations have been provided along with text to facilitate better understanding of budgets.
This tab opens onto a separate page displaying the three different tiers of government under four separate heads: Combined Budget Union and States, Union Budget, State Budgets and Municipal Corporation Budgets.
State Budgets have been further classified according to the sources of budget data into: i) ‘Reserve Bank of India-State Finances: A Study of Budgets’ provide datasets published by the Reserve Bank of India, and ii) ‘State-specific Budget Documents’ provide budget data published by the respective State Finance Departments.
This tab opens onto a new page which displays the twelve social sectors for which budget data is available on the portal. For example, the icon titled ‘Agriculture and Allied Activities’ provides datasets related to agriculture and related sectors.
This tab lists all datasets currently available on the portal for different tiers of government and in different formats (PDFs, CSVs, Excel and JSON files).
The second section explains the four key features of the portal. They are:
a) Budget Documents (PDFs): At present, the portal provides budget data in Portable Document Format (PDF) for three different tiers of government under four separate heads (as explained above).
b) Machine-readable datasets: This icon lists down all machine readable files such as Comma Separated Value (CSV) data files, available on the portal. The search for a particular CSV file is further aided by the use of the filters on the left-panel of the page.
c) Data Visualizations: The user can click on this to find the list of visualizations available on the portal. Again, filters on the left panel can guide the users in their search further.
d) Budget Basics: The user can click this to find explanations about the fundamental concepts and definitions related to budgets for different tiers of government as explained above.
Tiers of Government
The third section provides budget data for three different tiers of government under four separate heads as explained above.
The fourth section provides budget data pertaining to twelve social sectors as explained above.
The section, footer, contains the following links:
a) Disclaimer: It provides information on the disclaimers associated with the datasets on the portal.
b) License: It contains information on the licenses applicable for the datasets available on Open Budgets India.
c) Contact Us: It provides a brief feedback form for the users.
a) The Search Bar
This is a part of the banner on the home-page and has been designed to facilitate searchability of data on the basis of keywords. For example, typing ‘education’ in the search bar helps in finding all education related data-files available on Open Budgets India.
b) Search By Filters
Once the page for any particular tier/sector/homepage icon/banner features opens, there are several filters on the left panel. These help in refining the search further. These filters are:
Organizations: This classifies datasets according to the source of the data.
Groups: This classification represents the particular sector into which the dataset has been tagged, if any.
Tag: This filter refers to the search by keywords for any particular dataset.
Formats: This particular filter classifies the dataset according to the format in which it has been presented. The different formats presently being used on the portal are PDF, CSV, Excel and JSON.
License: This provides information on the licensing form under which the particular dataset has been put up on the portal.
c) How to Download/View/Share a Dataset
The format of each dataset is mentioned below the title of the dataset. A number of such datasets have been included on the portal in more than one format (e.g., PDF, CSV, Excel and JSON) and each of these can be accessed by clicking on the respective icons.
Also, a dataset can be both viewed and downloaded from its respective page by clicking on the ‘Download’ button and the ‘Explore’ buttons respectively. The ‘Explore’ button in turn provides the option of ‘Preview’ for a dataset.
The datasets can be shared by using the social communication channels like Google+, Twitter and Facebook. Separate icons for these have been provided on the left-panel of all pages corresponding to a particular dataset.