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How to use open data to benefit your business

Thomas Macaulay | Dec. 12, 2016
Advice for CIOs looking to open up their data to the wider world

The raw administrative data can have restricted benefits as it often contains personal data. It can also provide a competitive advantage that open access would annul, and risk compromising intellectual property. The easiest data to share is that which the organisation is the sole owner of.

Generating value from open data

The ODI recommends one or a combination of three different models to create value through open data. A freemium model, which is commonly used with web applications, subsidises a free data source with a paid-for service. An example of its benefit is providing a free product that adds value as a marketing tool.

Cross-subsidising business models, meanwhile, funds open data through the other benefits it can provide, such as providing support services or charging for changes to the dataset. This lowers the barriers for reuse by third-party developers, which can use the data to create tools for customers that add value to the business.

The model with most potential for profit, according to the ODI, is taking advantage of network effects around shared-data. This can manifest in either different organisations collaborating to maintain datasets for mutual benefits, or releasing data to increase the market in products and services.

Risk management is an another area that merits attention. Sourcing and managing the data will have costs that require ongoing investment that planning should prepare for.

Selling data can be surprisingly expensive, through the combination of legal, development, administrative, sales and marketing costs. It can also create strategic risks by requesting payment for products that competitors might offer for free.

A trial of open data is a useful way to balance the benefits and dangers of open data. It can act as a basis for an open data policy for what is shared and how it is managed, and reveal the opportunities and dangers of open data for your individual organisation.

Source: CIO UK 

 

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