OGD: Oil, Gold, Democracy ?!

Open Government Data (OGD) are seen by many people as the new gold of the digital age. So Neelie Kroes (Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda Data) in her Opening Remarks at the Press Conference on Open Data Strategy in Brussels, 12th December 2011:

“Just as oil was likened to black gold, data takes on a new importance and value in the digital age. … Public data, generated by all administrations in Europe will become automatically re-usable. It will feed new applications and services. … We calculate that public sector information already generates €32 billion of economic activity each year. This package would more than double that – – to around €70 billion.”

OGD Portal

Since September 16th 2013 Switzerland has its Open Government Data Portal, too. It’s based on CKAN and is filled with about 1600 files, mostly statistical data.

2013-10-14_OGDPortalCH
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OGD: Economic Impact

And Switzerland has its own report (by Adelheid Bürgi-Schmelz ) assessing the economic importance and impact of OGD. It’s a broad evaluation of methods and results (in German) with a long summary in English:
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2013-10-14_OGD-CH-Summary

‘Conclusion
From an economic perspective, Switzerland would benefit from an introduction of OGD. The Swiss federal administration would obtain efficiency gains provided the compensation issue for federal offices can be settled. But ultimately, the issue whether OGD should be introduced in Switzerland is subject to political decision making.’ (p.14)  “Information is the currency of democracy.” Thomas Jefferson (p.8)

2013-10-14_ImpactOGDCH

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Ex post?

Are the now published data by several governments the data needed? What’s their impact after first evaluations?
These questions are more and more of interest. And governments are starting initiatives to ‘sell’ open data with specific actions. So the White House in January 2013 with its showcasing the best government data sources (and here):

‘We at White House Office of Science and Technology Policy ‘had an idea: create an online showcase, highlighting the very best Open Data resources and how they are already being used by private-sector entrepreneurs and innovators to create new products and services that benefit people in all kinds of ways—from empowering patients to find the best healthcare right when they need it; to helping consumers detect credit card fraud; to keeping kids safe by notifying parents when products in their home are recalled’.

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OGDalphatopics

Evaluation by ODI ?

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The website of the Open Data Institute in London provides some information about how open data are used. An interesting guest blog shows the situation on the local level.

And a press release of ODI (December 2012) gives an example in the field of prescribing practices:

MILLIONS OF POUNDS IN PRESCRIPTION SAVINGS IDENTIFIED IN OPEN DATA

‘…. This project is an example of how open data can be used to help services run more effectively and efficiently. In using open data to highlight trends, we see where we can do better and make improvements. Inefficiency in any system often results from poor or incomplete information about the overall picture. This is something that open data can address as Prescribing Analytics so dramatically illustrates. The analysis should be required reading for all GPs as they seek to make best use of their resources. …’. (ODI’s Chairman, Nigel Shadbolt).

To do

These are just some examples of evaluation work. It’s a fascinating and important work to be done in this field. And it’s worth to be done systematically.

See also https://blogstats.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/open-data-literacy/

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