Introduction

Open data is accessible, free of cost, and an online data source from which anyone can benefit. It can be used, reused, and distributed freely for personal or group benefit. Primarily, the purpose of open data is to empower communities and to support new horizons of research and development. 

Open data is not a new concept in developed countries. They have been benefiting from it for years and using it for the development and growth of their communities. But with the unprecedented growth of data in the past two decades alone and the potential value data holds for the community and economic growth, many developing and underdeveloped countries are also opting for open data practices. 

We live in an increasingly data-driven era where data is recognized by many as more valuable than oil. Therefore, to empower communities, foster research, and see economic growth, there is a need to make valuable data open, shareable, and reusable at the local level. It is in this spirit that we are celebrating International Open Data Day on the 5th of March.  In this blog, we will take a closer look at the potential positive impact of open data in the operations of enterprises and governments. 

At the organizational or economy-wide level, there has been little study or analysis of the underlying economic and organizational mechanisms and ramifications of open data utilization. And the economic impact of open data and technology-enabled transparency is not the only one. Increased state or institutional responsiveness, reduced levels of corruption, built new democratic spaces for citizens, empowered local and disadvantaged voices, or improved service delivery and effective service utilization are just some of the other benefits of openness for our societies. 

Impact of open data on companies and organizations

Although open data is not a new concept, it has received a lot of attention in the corporate and government sectors in recent years. Using modern data-driven methodologies, data is assisting corporations and governments in making better decisions and resolving challenges. An organization or government that uses open data is in a better position to be profitable, build public trust, close loopholes, and stay productive.

Open data provides many opportunities for governments such as:

  • Creating economic development opportunities.
  • Improve decision making.
  • Promote government/public collaboration and more democratic space for the public.
  • Trustable environment.
  • Openness and Transparency in turn encourage greater trust with communities.

On the other hand, it unlocks opportunities for organizations and companies by: 

  • Enabling faster research 
  • Facilitating innovation 
  • Encouraging Economic Growth and Development
  • Providing Market Insight
  • Improving competitivity

We use data in every decision we make on a daily basis, whether personal or professional in nature. Our personal plans are data-driven; we gather data, plan accordingly, and act on it. Take, for example, the daily weather forecast or going online and looking for a good restaurant nearby. At work, we use data to fulfil daily activities and make well-informed decisions. As previously stated, data thrives and the more accessible data we can access, the better.

Final Thoughts 

While open data is still underused in the corporate world, it has a number of advantages for organizations who want to get in on the ground floor and begin investigating the movement right away. It’s crucial to remember that, like with any new technology, there are some restrictions. It’s critical to get a solid picture of how reliable and useful your open data source is in order to avoid unwanted consequences down the road. Keitaro is a prominent and active contributor to the global open data community and we have been honoured to work with a wide array of government agencies and companies, helping them implement their open data strategies. 

We believe that by working together, we can all benefit from open data and help improve not just our everyday lives, but society as a whole as well. 

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