Posted on the yorkiementor blog 30th April 2012
Governments hold an enormous amount of data which has considerable commercial value were it accessible to entrepreneurial, commercially-driven companies – an opportunity for growth!
The UK Cabinet Office has an Open Data and Transparency team which is working to release government-held data sets. There are already 7,500 data sets in the public domain [Dec 2011] which are accessible via http://data.gov.uk/ but this is the tip of the iceberg and more was promised [Autumn Statement].
The intention of the Open Data and Transparency team is to:
- Boost investment in UK medical research and digital technology, including SMEs;
- Improve medical knowledge and practice – data transparency in medicine and pharmaceutics. Companies and the NHS could benefit in R&D and treatment and patients could benefit if the knowledge was more transparent.
- Improve business logistics an commuting – real-time data on buses, trains, cars/trucks etc across the UK; and developments in smarter-cities where data is analysed and shared across city departments and functions.
- Allow entrepreneurs to develop applications for business – examples include using weather, ordnance-survey and land-registry data; the Office of National Statistics (ONS); and
- Allow patients access to their personal records
The UK government will establish an Open Data Institute in Shoreditch, to innovate and exploit open data opportunities. Time will tell whether the cost of operating this institute brings value – in my experience, SMEs and larger organisations just need to have open access to the data and the time and space to develop their ideas. Currently, SMEs are looking for help with access to finance and credit without the constraints imposed by the banks, which are in turn constrained by the Bank of England and government policies.
So, where are the examples of the commercial use of open data?
- ITO World Ltd;
- Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme [took a while to load this site];
- Placr Ltd;
- Red Spotted Hanky;
- Cycle Streets ;
- Microsoft HealthVault;
- Open Street map Foundation;
- Duedil – an excellent application IMHO;
- Dr Pocket.
These are just a few examples of the mining of data held by the UK government. The need is for speed and the opening up of data …… entrepreneurs do not need the interference and control of government departments or quangos …….. open up! Make it simple and cut out the costs.Some additional info:
Filed under: Innovation, Open Data Tagged: #opendata, #openuk, #simplifyingbusiness, business, government, growth, IT, ITC, logistics, medicine, NHS, open data, smarter cities, SME, transport, weather