New Open Repair Alliance dataset released

We are happy to announce the release of our latest set of Open Repair Data. The Open Repair Alliance dataset now contains nearly 55,000 repair attempts logged at community repair events around the world, keeping track of information on common product categories, repair outcomes, barriers to repair, and more.

This latest update contains data from events that were held up to the end of October 2021, and is published in the new Open Repair Data Standard v0.3 format. Read on to find out more about the data and how it is used. 

A global collection of records of repair

The combined data of all data providers now contains 54,402 repair attempts – an increase of 5,733 records since the release of the last dataset in March 2021. This is an increase of nearly 12% – which given the ongoing difficulties of running repair events during the pandemic, is encouraging. We look forward to when community repair events begin in earnest again and expect to see more items and their data logged.

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Investigating the age of repaired products

In the Open Repair Data Standard v0.3 we introduced a product age field, and starting with this release of the dataset, a new column containing estimated product age is included directly in the data. 

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Working with European policy partners, we’ve found that it’s useful to know the approximate age of items when they were brought in for repair.  It tells us specifically how long people are still willing to repair a product. For example, the graph above shows the breakdown of product age of laptops submitted up to the previous aggregation – it shows that the vast majority of laptops seen at community events is older than the 4 years estimated by manufacturers as lifespan of their products. This is a powerful argument in favour of extending support (availability of spare parts, software updates, repair information) by manufacturers.

Providing insights into repair

You can view an overview of the data, as well as further insights into key product categories, on our Insights page.

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It is very rewarding to see the use of the Open Repair Alliance data gaining traction. The Restart Project has used the data in citizen science investigations into why various categories of electronics/electricals break – and the findings from these have fed into ongoing policy processes. For example, insights from the analysis of smartphones repaired at community events have been used by the European Right to Repair campaign in requesting that as many spare parts as possible should be made available to consumers as well as professional repairers in the upcoming EU ecodesign regulation on smartphones.

The Open Repair Alliance data is also a key dataset in a proposed upcoming European Open Repair Data Platform, as part of the Sharepair project.

What’s next?

We’ll be producing another set of data in 2022, and looking into ways to further improve the quality of data collected by partners. We are always keen to find even more contributors to the dataset – so please visit our Get Involved page if your network has been collecting community repair data and you’re happy to share it publicly. Alternatively, simply sign up for more updates via our contact form.

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