Open Data Drives Decision Making
Open data allows any interested party to see data collected by government, companies, etc. and find the meaningful insights waiting to be discovered.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
What is Open Data?
Open data is readable data that anyone can access, use/reuse, and share.
Let's talk about the keywords from the above definition:
- Readable: Data must be published in electronic formats that are machine readable and non-proprietary.
- Access: Data should be legally open with minimal restrictions.
- Use/reuse and Redistribution: Data can be used by anyone or everyone at the same time, free of cost.
This data can be of any machine-readable formats, i.e. .csv, .xlsx, .pdf, etc.
Open data is non-personal and can be used to identify and predict large-scale trends and behaviors. This is opposed to closed data that is restricted to internal use by an organization. Anyone can combine this open data with closed/private data and discover something more interesting or create new data sets to share for further study.
Open Data Licenses
Data owners (i.e. Organizations, Governments, etc.) use Open Data licenses for conditional access under which their data may be used. A license must permit users to use the data for any purpose. If the proper licenses are in place, users can transform, combine, and redistribute data with others, even commercially.
Benefits of Open Data
Open data can bring diverse benefits to governments, businesses, and individuals. It has the power to help grow economies, transform societies, and protect the environment.
Transparency and Accountability
Open Data can pressurize governments in a positive way and reduce corruption by enabling greater transparency. Giving public data access to democratic countries’ citizens means the tax-payer can stay informed and up-to-date with the day-to-day operations of their government.
This public information reporting makes governments accountable towards the work which can produce better results. Citizens have the ability to see exactly what their government has achieved, and how much more work needs to be done.
Existing government's public services could be significantly improved as operational data becomes available to improve business processes and shorten delivery times. This data is used by officials to make laws, set policies and operate government services. This will also improve citizen’s involvement in the processes of law and policy making.
Nowadays, India is known as an IT services hub and the government is trying to make it a manufacturing hub in the future, but previously India was recognized for its agriculture industry. At present, Indian irrigation is highly dependent on monsoon rainfall which is uncertain and unreliable, hence India cannot achieve sustained progress in agriculture unless and until more than half of the farmaable area is able to be consistently irrigated. To resolve this problem we can use open data published by the Indian government and process it in order to create irrigation policies that allocate budget and reduce the corruption in existing services.
Open data provides new opportunities for commercial applications, improves time-to-market for businesses, and can form the foundation for new technological innovation and economic growth. Businesses and entrepreneurs are using Open Data to better understand potential markets and build new data-driven products and services.
Additionally, consumer-based companies use consumers' shopping data to suggest a product or launch new product/services.
Open Data makes it easier and less costly for organizations to discover and access their own data or data from other organizations, which reduces acquisition costs, redundancy, and overhead. Open Data can also empower citizens with the ability to alert governments to gaps in public datasets and to provide more accurate information.
Open datasets are available via multiple sources, examples are:
Government Data Portals
Cloud Data Portals
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.