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Open Data: Why It Is The Next Big Thing

Open Data Day is celebrated annually on 5 March, and open data does what it says on the tin: it describes data sets collected by government agencies that are made freely available to anyone who wants them, including the government, media, and the public. It allows decision-makers to see the full picture and understand the situation from both a top-line view as well as a granular level to make data-informed decisions.

Government organizations worldwide are increasingly using open data to create transparency and accessibility for more effective, efficient government services. For example, healthcare ministries can use it to track the progress of vaccinations, have a view of cities where there is a resurgence of infections, redirect support to the most vulnerable demographics that require them more urgently, and develop policies to kept the public safe and informed on the COVID-19 pandemic. By decentralizing and opening up data across governments, leaders and key decision-makers can work with the most accurate and up-to-date information to make informed decisions in real-time.

open data

Chong Yang Chan, Managing Director, Qlik

Open data can also significantly mitigate climate change, allowing us to be a step closer to achieving sustainability goals, a key agenda for many countries. From an energy standpoint, this may include data sets captured via smart meters to show everything from household energy use to spatial and renewable energy data. This can help the industry predict and plan for areas where energy usage will surge in the future and enterprises can use this data method to track their sustainability efforts and provide customers with the best service – proactive maintenance, proactive service, and energy saving tips and recommendations.

A critical component to finding open data insights and answers to our questions lies in data analytics, which works in two ways. First, analytics can derive insights into what has happened and why. But more importantly, it can also provide insights into what will happen, when it will happen, and the contributing factors for that particular outcome.

Without data and analytics, we might repeat past mistakes or be unprepared when a crisis hits. By using open data sets, we can map a future where businesses, governments, and the environment are moving forward for the betterment of the earth – and humanity. On this Open Data Day, I hope there is a better understanding of the benefits and potential of open data, in turn encouraging greater adoption of open data policies in governments, businesses, and civil society.

Written by Chong Yang Chan, Managing Director, ASEAN, Qlik

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author, not Tech Wire Asia.