This week read White House reports on Big Data challenges, and look at the rise of open data in China and how emerging markets are using it to create new businesses. There is also a brief analysis of the possibilities for Sharing Data for social impact.
In this post Lucy Bernholz shares her thoughts on the SHARE Conference alongside those of Beth Kanter's and TechSoup’s Lewis Haidt. She ponders the possibilities that may exist for cities and companies to pro-actively share data that helps inform public policy and benefit communities while protecting users privacy.
In this Guardian post Annika Small looks at the diverse and new ways social organisations are tapping into open data to better target their services, improve advocacy and fundraising, and support knowledge sharing and collaboration between different charities and agencies. While recognising the technical and organisational challenges that social organisations face in using big and open data she gives examples of organisations that have been able to find success like Keyfund, Global Giving and The Housing Association Charitable Trust (HACT).
In this World Bank blog post Alla Morrison and Debra Perry explain how open data can contribute to GDP and has already enabled sustainable business models in emerging economies in Latin America, Asia, Africa, India as well as Russia to varying degrees. These companies work in a wide range of sectors: business services/analytics, health and wellness, food and agriculture, education, finance, transport, real estate, travel and hospitality. In addition, a large number of these data companies operate in sectors with high social impact and many development opportunities.
The Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to the White House released a report analyzing future "big data" scenarios alongside a 90-day review of the big data practices led by White House advisor John Podesta. This gives a wide-ranging understanding of big data risks including how big data can discriminate against individuals. In another post on CoExist Sydney Brownstone gives insight on How we can build ethics into Big Data, while Kenneth Cukier, data editor at The Economist, discusses how an unprecedented access to data changes how we live and think.
TechPresident explains how open data got started in China. According to a timeline, the Chinese government's first open data website was Shanghai's Internal Data Directory launched around September 2011. Beijing's open data site went online in October 2012, followed by that of the National Bureau of Statistics site in September 2013. The government however does not publicize the launch of these sites very much. In the beginning of January, the city of Guangzhou announced that it plans to create a department devoted to work on big data and open data. Feng Gao, an open data ambassador says that the Open Data Community has also discussed with Code for America the potential for replicating their model in China at the city level. However, the open data community is currently waiting on the anticipated national plan on open data from the government, which is expected to be released soon.