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5 Articles That Highlight the Importance of Open Data

MFG Archive

To celebrate Open Data Day, we're revisiting five articles from 2013 and 2014 that are still relevant to conservations surrounding open data.

On March 5 communities around the world will gather to write applications, liberate data, create visualisations, and publish analyses using open data. Coined “Open Data Day,” this global movement shows support of and encourages the expansion of open data.

Open data remains a critical talking point in the Markets for Good community, and we are pleased to share with you five articles published through Markets For Good that highlight the international importance of open data.

Hudson Hollister, “Why the Data Act Matters”

Published 5/20/14. On May 9th, President Obama signed the US Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act. The new law is a bold bid to transform US Federal Government spending information, in all its complexity, from disconnected documents into open data. Hudson Hollister, Founder and Principal of HData, presents what it says, how it passed, and why it matters.

Diego May, “Value Equations for Open Data”

Published 10/16/13. Junar CEO and Co-founder Diego May gives a quick dissection of the value equation for open data. As we sort through ways to make open data sustainable to produce and sustainable as a business driver, things can quickly become complex. But, no matter how complex the technologies or the process of deploying new data sets, there’s no avoiding the simple questions: Who values the data? and Who is willing to pay for it?

Ben Hecht, “Three Reasons Why Open Data Will Change the World”

Published 2/19/13. We find ourselves in the flurry of activity that is to be expected of the dawn of any movement. On this ground, there is an equalizing factor as the social sector, business, and government are all staring into an opportunity that demands immediate ramping of high-quality data practice. In that sense, I don’t mind the now-sustained hype growing out of the mid-90s. It signals necessary evolutions, and it surrounds legitimate steps forward, including at the level of our information infrastructure. At points along the route, however, it helps to raise the plow, check the landscape, delete some noise, and return to work. Living Cities CEO Ben Hecht gives a real-time view of how open data is positioned to change the world.

TechSoup Global, “Four Steps Toward Open Data Business Models”

Published 10/15/13. Since we’re in a nascent space when it comes to open data business models, we’ll do as much looking for components and philosophies underlying them as we will for models in action. TechSoup Global’s Daniel Ben-Horin, Jessica Galeria, and Keisha Taylor take up the underlying parts of that question and recommend four sequential steps that should be the foundation of sustainable business models using open data.

Andy Isaacson, “Beyond Alphabet Soup: Five Guidelines for Data Sharing”

Published 8/14/13. We know (intellectually) not to rely on magical solutions to drive our work. In practice, however, we sometimes fall into the trap of unwitting, magical assumptions. The reality is that underlying any amazing feat we might accomplish, you can bet on solid infrastructure, process and groundwork to account for it. Andy Isaacson, Forward Deployed Engineer at Palantir Technologies, takes us to the heart of responsibly making data usable and useful for people.

To learn more about Open Data Day and or find an event near you, visit the International Open Data Day Hackathon website.