Governments opening data is one step, the public making use of these data is the other one.
And not a guaranteed one. As a guest blog on Harvard Business Review’s Blog says: ‘the goal is for this data to become actionable intelligence: a launchpad for investigation, analysis, triangulation, and improved decision making at all levels….. While the “opening” has generated excitement from development experts, donors, several government champions, and the increasingly mighty geek community, the hard reality is that much of the public has been left behind, or tacked on as an afterthought. So how can we support “data-literacy” across the full spectrum of users, including media, NGOs, labor unions, professional associations, religious groups, universities, and the public at large?’
The World Bank adresses this question and provides an Open Government Data Toolkit: ‘So, now that this data has been ‘opened’, how can it capture attention and imaginations of the full spectrum of users? How can we focus on the other side – the demand side – of the open data phenomenon? How can we grow communities of data users, and encourage data ‘ownership’ by the media, civic hackers, community groups, NGOs, labor unions, professional associations, universities, and more?’