Open Data Institute, 16 May 2014

The Value of Open Data to Business:
The Open Data 500 Study
Setting the Stage
My Journey Through the Datasphere
Setting the Stage
Open Data: Accessible, public data that
people, companies, and organizations
can use to launch new ventures, analyze
patterns and trends, make data-driven
decisions, and solve complex problems.

Setting the Stage
Setting the Stage
• Data for government accountability (government
spending, campaign finance, data on contractors, etc.)

• Regulatory data that government collects on regulated
industries (environmental measures, labor conditions,
health care costs, beneficial ownership, etc.)

• Scientific and research data collected by government
(biomedical research, weather and satellite data)

• Data that can be used as a business resource
Four Kinds of Open Government Data
Opportunity: New Business from
Government Data
Government Data for Business
Government Open Data Fuels Businesses in All Sectors
Health Education Energy Use
Financial Services Transportation
Government Data for Business
Climate Corporation: Leading the Next Green Revolution
Climate Corporation offices in San Francisco
Government Data for Business
Healthcare: The Next Big Frontier?
Government Data for Business
Big Data Analytics to Predict Health Outcomes
Government Data for Business
In-Depth Information on 40K Public Companies
Government Data for Business
Using Data to Help SMEs Get Loans
Government Data for Business
Data for Energy Savings
Ogi Kavazovic, VP Marketing & Strategy
Overcoming Obstacles to Being
“Open for Business”
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness
• Privacy concerns, fear, and confusion

• The cost/benefit conundrum

• The data-for-development dilemma

Three Issues in Applying Open Data
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness
Confusion Over Care.Data?
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness
Why Privacy Agreements Don’t Work: Got a Month?
A Proposal for a New Deal on Data:
1. You have a right to possess your data.
2. You, the data owner, must have full control over the use
of your data.
3. You have a right to dispose of or distribute your data.
Alex “Sandy” Pentland, MIT Media Lab
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness
• McKinsey study: $3 trillion annually worldwide
(government and nongovernment)
• 30 to 140 billion euros for Europe’s public sector data
• 2 to 9 billion British pounds
• $30 billion for U.S. weather data
• Tens of billions for U.S. GPS data
• Hundreds of billions for U.S. health data
Cost/Benefit: Estimates of Value Vary Greatly
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness
“The commercial value of open data remains
untapped . . . in developing countries.”
Prasanna Lal Das, The World Bank

• Availability of good Open Data is a major limitation
• But: Mobile access is ubiquitous
• Information can be presented by phone, not laptop
• Government Open Data can be supplemented by
expert research or crowdsourcing

The Data-for-Development Dilemma
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness

A Solution for Farmers in Ghana
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness
Overcoming Obstacles to Openness
The Overall Challenge:
Making Government Data Usable and Useful
Making Government Data Useful
DATA Act: Both Parties Agree on Transparency Data
Making Government Data Useful
[Open Data is] going to help launch more
businesses. . . . It’s going to help more
entrepreneurs come up with products and
services that we haven’t even imagined yet.
Open Data as a Presidential Priority (May 2013)
President Barack Obama
Making Government Data Useful
• “Presumption of openness”
• Machine-readable
• Reusable
• Timely
• Itinerary of datasets
• Provides no new funding
• Doesn’t prioritize

The Open Data Policy Requires:
Making Government Data Useful
The Problem: U.S. Federal Data Today
Making Government Data Useful
Enigma: Managing Open Data Is a Winning Strategy
Making Government Data Useful
Socrata: Federal, State, City Data in U.S. and Other Countries
Making Government Data Useful
• Improvement in data quality, completeness, and
• Feedback from data users to data providers
• Making life easier for open data companies
• Making life easier for government agencies
What’s Missing?
A New Approach:
Open Data 500, Open Data Roundtables
The Open Data 500
The GovLab’s Central Hypothesis

When governments and institutions open themselves to
diverse participation and collaborative problem-
solving, and partner with citizens to make decisions,
they are more effective and legitimate.

The Open Data 500
Beth Noveck,
Founder & Director
The Open Data 500
To achieve collaborative democracy, we must open up how
government institutions work. We study three paradigms:
1. Sharing Responsibility
2. Getting Knowledge and Expertise In
3. Getting Open Data Out

Goals of the Open Data 500

1. Provide a basis for assessing the economic value of
government open data
2. Encourage the development of new open data
3. Foster a dialogue between government and business
on how government data can be made more useful

The Open Data 500

The Open Data 500
The Open Data 500
• More than 30 federal departments, offices and agencies
• More than smartphone apps
• More than weather and GPS
• More than Silicon Valley
• More than startups
• More than a few revenue models

What Open Data Business Involves
The Open Data 500
The Open Data 500
The Open Data 500
Open Data Roundtables: Now Getting Started
“New York University’s GovLab . . . is now hosting a
series of Open Data Roundtables to bring companies and
government data owners together. Specific, actionable
feedback from these sessions and others has the
potential to improve descriptions, formats, and
accessibility of government data.”
The Open Data 500
The Open Data 500
• Prioritize the most important datasets in each agency
• Improve each agency’s data and make it easier to find,
access, and work with
• Connect businesses with agency staff who provide data
• Foster continued collaboration
• Increase public awareness of Open Data and its uses
Planned Outcomes of the Roundtables
The Open Data 500
• Increase survey response (now almost 40%)
• Gather financial data on Open Data companies
• Add in civil society organizations
• Hold interagency, cross-sectoral roundtables
• Replicate internationally (16 countries now
• Hold convenings on Open Data and business use
Next Steps
For More Information
For More Information
Visit Our Wiki, Subscribe to Our Digest
For More Information
Learn about Open Data at
For More Information
Open Data Institute, 16 May 2014
The Value of Open Data to Business:
The Open Data 500 Study

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