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Open Data Set to Reshape Charity and Activism in 2016

MFG Archive

How will data affect charity and activism in 2016? This week, we look at The Guardian’s article where experts share their thoughts on what this year will hold for the growth of open data.


Across the world, countries are expanding their use and distribution of data for others to access. Last year, the EU, China, and Taiwan announced various accomplishments and goals for the use of open data by the civic groups, businesses, and governments who need to analyze it. Five of the world’s experts on open data shared their thoughts on what is to come with the expansion of access to this knowledge.


Heather Savory, Deputy National Statistician for Data Capability at the Office for National Statistics, believes that this year will be the year “when data is seen as infrastructure, the building blocks of everything we do.”


Hetan Shah, Executive Director at the Royal Statistical Society, shares his thoughts about how journalists, charities, and civil society bodies will embrace open data like never before. Shah believes that “there will be more fact checking than ever before,” to hold businesses, governments, and other civic groups accountable.


Pavel Richter, Chief Executive at Open Knowledge International, thinks that activists themselves will start creating the data they need. According to Richter, there will be a shift towards a more demand-driven approach in which “communities and activists create and curate the data they want and need on their own.”


Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal at Jesus College, Oxford and Professorial Research Fellow in Computer Science at University of Oxford, and Chairman and Co-Founder of the Open Data Institute, believes that data illiteracy will become a burden for those who try to analyze data. It is paramount for companies, governments, and individuals to be able to understand how to correctly integrate “open, closed, shared, personal, non-personal, and variously anonymised data.”


Dr. Elena Simperl, Associate Professor of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton and coordinator of Odine, believes that with the increasing use of data we will see advances in the technology needed to implement and analyze it. “From tools to search for the data you need, to interfaces to understand what the data captures, and which parts of it may need protection to preserve privacy.”


Data is becoming increasingly pertinent in our world and in the nonprofit sector. It is important to take the necessary steps and develop guidelines to efficiently interpret the data organizations find.



Read The Guardian’s original article here.  


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