Chris J Powell

Open Data Around the World

I am a big fan of Information being free.  Society as a whole benefits from the sharing of data and I recently stumbled across a very interesting site that has started to catalog the state of Open Data from across the Globe.  The Open Data Census is a collection of the worlds Open Data Sets and focuses on the sharing of the connections to open information that can be accessed by anyone and this project is part of the Open Knowledge Foundation.

The reality is, Open Data is not only a new term it is actually in many ways a little scary to think of just how much information is collected by the governments that we elect.  In going through the Open Knowledge Foundation site you get a better understanding that while the volume of information that is collected is scary, the core benefits that it provides is truly limitless.

The Video comes from the recent Lift Conference and the founder of OFK and Rufus Pollock is a champion of the Open Data Movement.  The revolution that we are now entering is finding the balance between Information Complexity and the Necessity for a solution that is driving Big Data forward and Information Technology that provides an Opportunity for new Data Sets.

But what is Open Data?

“Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.”

Why is this happening now?

The anecdote cited in the video is the relationship between the importance of the concept behind Open Source is that when the “Source” is available to many eyes, anomolies become apparent and the case of the Redding Medical Center (now known as the Shasta Regional Medical Center) was investigated for the fraud of Medicare over a 10 year period by performing unnecessary surgeries (mostly cardiac related surgeries).  The challenge that is now presented to each of us is the complexity of the Data Sets available but also the ability of modern Information Technology to split the complex Data into manageable chunks.

There are 281 Open Data Catalogs available today.  The Open Knowledge Foundation has developed a Score Card for what countries are doing the best job at opening their Data and the top 10 Countries are:

  1. Australia
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Netherlands
  4. France
  5. Germany
  6. Switzerland
  7. United States
  8. Bulgaria
  9. Brazil
  10. Belgium

The concept that Data is the new Oil is now upon us and there is already a starting point that there is Data Refining happening that is building a new industry within the Big Data world.

The future is not just going to be governments Opening their Data but also Corporations opening their Data and creating new Data Warehouses that allow us to each to access and focus on Quality and more Informed Decisions.

The Revolution is here.  Are you seeing the change?


Chris J Powell


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