Open Data vs. Data-driven Decisioning

The Open Data movement has had great momentum over the past couple years, with over 40 countries now committing to some sort of public open data portal. I’ve appreciated the early efforts of the open data movement, but have always posited that while publishing data for the sake of transparency is good, it can’t be the end goal.

What cities understand (and are doing) far better than state and federal governments in the governmental ecosystem is how to leverage data sets to drive innovation, economic development, and data-driven decisions for agility and transformation. A recent article by the Chief Technology Officer for the City of Chicago, highlights this, “The first two, fairly well-established tenets of open government; the last two, long-term policy rationales for positioning open data as a driver of change.” They are:

  • Transparency builds trust
  • Accountability builds a better workforce
  • Analysis builds new processes
  • Open data builds businesses
Chicago has even created the position of Chief Data Officer to lead these efforts.
As these open data efforts continue to mature, we’ll see more of this business-centric, transformative approach to enterprise data management. Governments will also start to embrace the value of data standard schemas, linked data, and platform-based concepts. The true value will be identifying inflection points across service areas and leveraging data throughout the ecosystem to perform both macro and micro-level based analytics, inform policy making, and create service innovation.
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