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Open Data, a goldmine accessible to all

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Discover the transformative power of open data, its vast potential for innovation and accessibility, and how it serves as a valuable resource for individuals, businesses, and communities worldwide.

Open Data refers to all data published and collected by public administrations and businesses. This data is generally free or at very low cost, and is easily accessible.

The obligation of information and transparency towards users ensured by the GDPR makes Open Data a democratic pillar but also a real economic challenge. This growing interest in Open Data is driven by an awareness of the new challenges facing public services that cannot be met with traditional operating models.

Today, there is a worldwide trend towards open data, which is attracting the interest of non-governmental organizations, local authorities and countries that are moving towards open data publication.

France, one of the world leaders in Open Data

France is ranked 4th among the world leaders in Open Data by the Open Data Barometer, a global measure of how governments publish and use Open Data for accountability, innovation and social impact. The French use Open Data on a daily basis, sometimes without even knowing it: it’s never been easier to access bus timetables or find a free parking space.

For example, the data.gouv.fr website disseminates public data from the French government. More concretely, with the Covid-19 crisis, the phenomenon of open data has taken root in the lives of the French, with the daily dissemination of disease statistics. With an estimated value of almost 30 billion euros each year, Open Data is taking on a significant weight in the French economy.

Open Data from the public to the private sector

Open Data probably makes you think of governments, local authorities or any other public entity. Today, however, Open Data is gaining ground in the private sector. Private sector organizations, from small businesses to large corporations, are participating in the development of Open Data in three ways: as data users, as data intermediaries and as data providers. While public data has great potential value, users may not be able to access the data until they can use it, analyze it or share the results.

Data may be published in formats that are not initially readable by users, that are difficult to use, or that present significant problems in terms of accuracy, completeness, timeliness, and so on. This is why major groups such as Thomson Reuters and Reed Elsevier are converting Open Data to make it more readable for users.

What’s more, over the past 20 years, a growing number of companies have embraced open innovation, sharing data and resources with universities, researchers and start-up incubators to accelerate research and development. Open Data takes open innovation to the next level, as more and more companies choose to share their data with different players in their sector and with the general public.

Added value mainly from the public sector

Several economic benefits of reusing Open Data can be identified – direct and indirect benefits. Direct benefits are monetized benefits that are realized in market transactions in the form of revenue or gross added value. Indirect economic benefits are, for example, new goods and services, time savings for users of applications using Open Data, or the increased efficiency of public services. The data.europa.eu website estimates that by 2020, the size of the European Open Data market will have grown by 36.9%, reaching a value of 75.7 billion euros.

When considering the impact of Open Data in a specific sector, the public sector is expected to have the largest share in terms of direct market size. The growth in the size of the Open Data market should also lead to an increase in demand for skilled workers in this field.

Open Data therefore represents a considerable economic, political and strategic challenge at a time when the digitization of the world is accelerating and becoming increasingly accessible to all.

To get a more concrete idea of what Open Data is, we invite you to consult the datagouv data processed by Datascientest learners on this project: https://studio.datascientest.com/project/pycycle/

To discover other student projects, visit the studio’s website.

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