Open Data: opportunities and challenges for business and government


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An Oxford Brookes University Alumni Association lecture given by Dr Dan Herbert. The lecture outlines the principles of open data and explains how these affect the work of government and businesses.

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Open Data: opportunities and challenges for business and government

  1. 1. Open Data: Opportunities and challenges for government and business. Dr Dan Herbert
  2. 2. The ability to collect, store, analyse and reportdata fundamentally affectsthe way that organisations function.
  3. 3. Today‘s lecture• Some background concepts.• What is open data?• The data available• What can be done with it?• The government – opportunities and challenges• Business – opportunities and challenges• Some conclusions…
  4. 4. Some Concepts…• Open source: • Free beer and free speech • Software, tools, data • Licences – GNU, creative commons etc…• Hackers, developers and script kiddies
  5. 5. More concepts…• The wisdom of crowds • Why Wikipedia works • Wikinomics• The semantic web • Tagged data • Linked data
  6. 6. Closed dataOrganisations have locked up data,formats and ideas to extract valuefrom them. Value came from the factthey controlled them.But value can come fromsharing….the gold mine…
  7. 7. Open data“Open Data is a philosophy and practice requiring thatcertain data are freely available to everyone, withoutrestrictions from copyright, patents or othermechanisms of control.”( 2011) Free (as in speech) and Free (as in beer)
  8. 8. So what data is available?• • Bus stops • Mapping data • Train times – this • Spending data week! • Contracts • Boris Bikes• World bank • Etc etc etc…•
  9. 9. ‗Unofficial open data‘• • Harvesting data from web pages • A bit naughty…. • But good fun! • An Example – pool temperatures.
  10. 10. What can be done• Web pages • Openlylocal • OpenCharities- a scraped page• Analysis tools • Timetric • Spotlight on Spend • Armchair Auditor on the Wight
  11. 11. What can be done• Visualistions • Wheredoesmymoneygo.• Applications • Boris Bikes• Journalism • Datablog
  12. 12. A welcome from the Prime Minister!
  13. 13. Government…opportunities• Accountability • Many eyes… • Armchair auditing• Value for money… • Effectiveness • Efficiency • Economy• Free services – train times app, boris bikes, etc • Cheap, agile service developments • Open street maps
  14. 14. Government…challenges ―Those with the power to determine what enters into organisational accounts have the means to articulate and diffuse their values and concerns, and subsequently to monitor, observe and regulate the actions of those that are now accounted for.‖ (Hopwood, 1984)
  15. 15. What do we account for?• In the past this has been set by experts• Open data lets anyone aggregate figures• FOI lets anyone get data• Institutions need to give context to data• ―The restaurant bill‖
  16. 16. How to create value from government data?• Sell the data • Cash gain • Pirating?• Free the data • Wider economic gain
  17. 17. Business…opportunities• Market analysis • Collection costs are falling• Competitive data• Business research• New market segments • Using data to provide services• Co-production • Sharing data for mutual gain – genome project
  18. 18. Business... Challenges• Some business models are dead! • CIPFA benchmarking• Pressure to disclose • Financial analysis/rating agencies • If we have it for government and contractors why not everyone?• Strategic change: knowledge is less valuable than the skill to use it. • Music is less valuable than performers
  19. 19. And more… New ways to link and use data It‘s data underneath all this. The more that is open the better!
  20. 20. A new age??• Social media has been the focus but DATA underpins value.• The semantic web is emerging based on data • Location based iPhone apps• The web of things….
  21. 21. A new age?• The ‗many eyes‘ of the web enable new ways of working • Holding power to account • Creating new models
  22. 22. I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capableof analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, andtransactions between people and computers. A ‗Semantic Web‘,which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when itdoes, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and ourdaily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The‗intelligent agents‘ people have touted for ages will finallymaterialize. — Tim Berners-Lee, 1999
  23. 23. Benchmarking business at risk• CIPFA make money collecting and analysing spending and performance data.• BUT • Data collection form is is FOIable • Anyone can collect and analyse returns.• That makes the business weak