Stimulating demand for open data in the UK
Open data, employed in combination with open platforms, expands the network of minds and unlocks the data’s latent potential. This briefing note summarises elements of Deloitte’s research into open data.
Data has been referred to as the new raw material of the twenty‑first century. And like any other raw material, it needs investment to locate, extract and refine it before it yields value. Used wisely, data creates opportunities for organisations to make more robust decisions, uncover cost savings and get to know their customers better.
As defined by opendefinition.org, “a piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and distribute it – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike”.
In 2009, the UK Government, among several other national and regional governments around the world, started to open up large amounts of public sector information. At first, the Government’s initiative gave citizens and the media the chance to uncover poor performance or behaviour. And while transparency remains a fundamental aim, open government data also has an important role to play in the economy, supplemented by a small but growing volume of data made freely available by businesses and individuals.
Open data, employed in combination with open platforms, such as APIs (Application Programming Interface), open standards and open licences, expands the network of minds and unlocks the data’s latent potential. However, the companies and entrepreneurs using open data need to be nurtured and supported if they are to succeed.
About this document
This short briefing note summarises elements of Deloitte’s ongoing research programme into open data, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Open Data Institute.
The research programme has collected broad anecdotal evidence and some discrete statistics about open government data. Collectively these provide an indication of the value that open data can bring to the UK’s economy, and demonstrate that business use of open data is growing.
However, the unequivocal quantitative evidence of economic benefit that the programme has sought is not yet available. Deloitte will continue to track and analyse such quantitative measures as the open data marketplace develops over the coming months.
Therefore, this briefing note defines the basic business models that are beginning to emerge, and how the current supply of and demand for open government data may be benefitting different sectors of the economy.