Demystifying Digital — A Case for More Open Data

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Data & the New Digital Age.

By Chris Ongarello on – 19 April 2013

As I continue to get inspiration from Eric Schmidt’s new book, The New Digital Age, Reshaping the future of people, nations and business and the great quote I posted on Facebook “Information, like water, will always find a way through”, it’s time we all made a case for more open data so the information we long for is ready and waiting for us.

In America this week President Obama took historic steps by signing an executive order and issuing a new Government-wide policy to make government information even more open and accessible to the public.

Likewise in Alberta Canada the provincial government launched its open data portal as part of its efforts to promote government transparency and citizen engagement. As Manmeet S. Bhullar, the Minister of Service Alberta said: “This government is committed to a new way of doing business – one that values the proactive sharing of information – and this portal builds on that commitment.”

To further the case it’s worth talking about the Open Government Partnership(OGP), a group of countries that have committed towards making government services and information easily accessible to their citizens. The United Kingdom, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa and the US are all founding members. The OGP currently has 58 country members, including Kenya and Tanzania.

If you need reminding of the power of open data all we need to do is look at how Presidents Reagan and Clinton opened up the Global Positioning System (GPS), once reserved for military use, for civilian and commercial access; giving rise to GPS-powered innovations ranging from aircraft navigation systems to precision farming to location-based mobile apps, contributing tens of billions of dollars in annual value to the American economy.

A case for open data might include these summarized points because open data…
– spurs economic growth
– fuels innovation
– drives citizen engagement
– provides further transparency between a government and it’s people

It’s time for all worldwide governments to provide their citizens with more open data sets. In any case don’t the taxpayers already own the data?

This post was writ­ten by Chris Ongarello, Founder and Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of DuckDive GmbH.
DuckDive moves brands and businesses into an engaging position with their audience, connecting them through the power of digital communication. Focus­ing on con­cept and strat­egy to deliver mea­sur­able (ROI), DuckDive achieve this by work­ing with enthu­si­as­tic peo­ple who share a com­mon goal to cre­ate amaz­ing inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to challenges.

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