Diving into Open Data in a financial world
What is Open Data?
Open data isn’t a new trend in our economy. The term started to emerge in literature in the 80s, but it was only in 2012 that the Open Data Institute gave a complete definition: "Open Data is data that anyone can access, use and share". Pretty simple to understand, but what can an Financial Services Industry (FSI) actor do with this kind of data when it is already struggling with its own data? In what way can it benefit from Open Data?
To answer this question, we need to go several years back in time and try to understand where this data comes from and see the potential behind it. Open data is a consequence of technology and social factors.
From a technology point of view, the internet brings people and the economy together, allowing them to purchase almost anything over the internet, and more importantly to exchange thoughts, opinions, and knowledge at a tremendous frequency, relegating epistolary to antiquity. On the social side, a majority of people have a digital life today through platforms like Facebook, and this is certainly not restricted to human beings.
Nowadays, sensors from the Internet of Things (IoT) world can enable anything to produce Open Data via a whole host of devices, such as healthcare bands, smart watches or on-board car telematics devices. Even pets can be monitored with GPS tracking solution for example.
Governments are also joining the movement through new e-services—which have made interactions with citizens easier—and also by digitalizing the administration, allowing them to produce figures on almost anything pertaining to both the state and its citizens alike: statistics on criminality, poverty, unemployment rate changes, weather conditions, etc. Today, Open Data is almost everywhere, produced by anything and anyone.
All of this data represents a large mass of information, which can be classified in seven categories: Government and Political Data, Data Aggregators, Social Data, Weather Data, Sports Data, Universities and Research and finally, among the most verbose, News Data.
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