The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Opportunities in Open Data

derived data.pngA long while back, I mentioned a kickoff presentation to the Open Data effort in Toronto. This meeting was focused on opening up the underutilized existing data, enabling the generation of new value for those living in Toronto.

 

Many organizations today need to inventory their data and (probably more importantly) the derived data. As part of this cataloging effort, they can look at the possibilities to leverage the data with publically and commercially available data opening up new levels of context understanding and possibility for the organization.

 

It is interesting when you talk to organizations about their data. They rarely understand the range of what is valuable, internal and proprietary -- let alone what could be merged with information from the government or other sources to make better decisions.

 

Many governments like the United States, Canada, Mexico and Singapore are opening up the floodgates of public data. For companies who understand that their data is being valued by their partners and customers, it can be a differentiator for those relationships. Naturally competitors are interested in the data as well, so a balance needs to be reached.

 

There are many companies across the globe that aggregate data from numerous sources and provide insight to help with decision making. Examples of some unusual types of searches anyone can do are: Coffee vs. Tea or what’s interesting about this day or what countries have the highest download speed.

 

Now these tools that once required high powered, custom solutions are more common – through the abundance of IT capabilities. It is shifting the foundations of what is thought of as possible.

Examples of where open data integration are making a difference:

Or the example I posted on a while back about the shifts that will come to the healthcare space when we have more genomic information and greater understanding of the effectiveness of treatment based on genetic makeup, not just the statistical average.

 

Information sources that contain demographic data, financial transactions, health-care benchmarks, and real-time location data are becoming prevalent. A myriad of new context-based possibilities exist for organizations to exploit both to understand their business better, differentiate themselves in the mind of the customer and generate economic value.

Comments
Nicolas Mattelet(anon) 4 weeks ago

The term Open Data can be found in the government statement of the newly formed Flemish government. Roughy translated - "open data is the standard for Flemish government and we will accelerate the effort to put this into practice". It can be found in similar documents for the UK, and I'm sure many other governments. Where that practice will lead us is less clear.

I see practical and public use for agencies that are tasked to collect and spread around information (Data Steward role) in fields such as Tourism or when informing the citizens about government and cultural activities.

Yet again most use could be found in the area of 'limited membership' - where open data principles could be used to share knowledge on any topic where open sharing would benefit a limited number of members...

but ... is that considered open data? 

The interesting thing about open data is the impact it has on the open and commercial tools now used to exchange and collect data... as that's where we can "put it into practice". If there is anyone with experience or insight there - let me know.

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