Whatever the industry or discipline, big data is there to help glean the future. And now big data pioneers can open their data and get even broader insights, sharper views, and a significant competitive edge. According to a recent Gartner report, open data is more important and more valuable than big data alone. The Gartner analysts go on to say that big data certainly makes organizations smarter, but open data does more to increase revenue and business value.
According to Open Definition, a piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and/or share-alike. Across the U.S. and across the globe, open data initiatives are being introduced, and governments are leading the way.
President Barack Obama introduces Digital Government with the challenge,
The three main objectives in the strategy are:
- Enable the American people and an increasingly mobile workforce to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device
- Ensure that as the government adjusts to this new digital world, we seize the opportunity to procure and manage devices, applications, and data in smart, secure and affordable ways.
- Unlock the power of government data to spur innovation across our Nation and improve the quality of services for the American people.
The strategy is funded with an estimated $73 million annually for research grants.
Open data as a spectator sport
Governments and businesses are promoting innovation through competitions using open data. Illinois launched an Open Technology Challenge and is offering $75,000 in prize money. Kaggle Competitions hosts game show style competitions with up to 57,000 contestants to solve problems using open data. Europe's Open Data Challenge offered 20,000 Euros to the winners of their open data competitions
Someone is always watching
You can do more than wonder if that ticket you got was because a law enforcement officer was trying to make his quota, A student intern used open data to glean the patterns of traffic citations issued by police in the city of Baltimore. His home-grown study reveals a connection between the days at the beginning and end of the month, and the number of tickets issued:
Need more data? Data.gov offers open data sources, open data communities, and open data platforms. The resources for open data are vast and growing.