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The Guardian - " Five ways open data can boost democracy around the world"

Want fairer taxes, less corporate lobbying and more open politicians? Here’s how open data can help

On 21 February, thousands of transparency activists, software developers, designers, researchers, public servants, and civil society groups are gathering at more than 100 cities around the world for the fifth global Open Data Day.

In political speeches and recent reports there has been a significant focus on the potential of open data for economic growth and public sector efficiency. But open data isn’t just all about silicon roundabouts and armchair auditors. Here are five reasons why open data matters for social justice and democratic accountability.

Read the full article in The Guardian

The Conversation - "The future will be built on open data – here’s why"

Data has the power to revolutionise and disrupt the way societies are governed. None more so than open data, which is free to access, free to use and can be shared by anyone. It’s non-personal and can be used to identify and predict large-scale trends and behaviours. This is as opposed to closed data that is restricted to internal use by an organisation.

Many organisations are now seeing the benefits of open data. The European Union Open Data Portal, the British government’s efforts under the banner of Opening up Government, and the Global Open Data Index are three examples of initiatives that bring together and make available large amounts of data about industry, health, education, and employment among other fields.

Others focus on improving transparency, for example where UK taxpayers' taxes are spent, or how farm subsidies are spent across Europe. There are also organisations, such as the Open Society, that call for greater transparency in order to hold government to account.

Read the full article in The Conversation

Open Data Institute Research - "The economic value of open versus paid data"

New economic research commissioned by the ODI shows that across all core public sector data assets open data will provide 0.5% of GDP more economic value every year than data that users have to pay for

Access the full report below

The ODI has commissioned new economic research from Lateral Economics into the effect of providing access to important data assets in different ways.

We asked them to look at access to core data assets – usually maintained by the public sector – such as addresses, maps, weather, land and property ownership, at different points in The Data Spectrum: paid access, public access with a restricted licence and open data.

This is a summary of some of the findings of the research. The research contains more detail and findings, we would encourage you to read it in full when you have the time.

The difference between paid data and open data is 0.5% of GDP
There is an existing body of evidence showing that open data provides significant value to the economy. The new report builds on previous research and says that across all core public sector data assets open data will provide 0.5% of GDP more economic value every year than data that users have to pay for.

More businesses, charities, individuals and the public sector itself can make better use of data when it is open. That is where the increased economic value comes from. If your government is publishing open data then you may already be receiving some of this value.

Read the full article in Open Data Institute

Big Data

source: Fourth Report of Session 2015-2016 - "The big data dilemma" by House of Commons, Science and Technology Committee

Read the full report "The big data dilemma"

The Guardian - "Open data set to reshape charity and activism in 2016"

From improved data literacy to the adoption of data by civil groups, experts share their thoughts on what this year will hold for the open data community

In 2015 the EU launched the world’s first international data portal, the Chinese government pledged to make state data public, and the UK lost its open data crown to Taiwan. Troves of data were unlocked by governments around the world last year, but the usefulness of much of that data is still to be determined by the civic groups, businesses and governments who use it. So what’s in the pipeline? And how will the open data ecosystem grow in 2016? We asked the experts.

Read the full article in The Guardian