This site requires Javascript to function correctly
UKAuthority.com requires the use of cookies. Continued use of this site indicates that you accept this policy. More information.

Cookies and your privacy

In accordance with the ICO's EU e-Privacy Directive and to help protect your privacy we are making you aware of the use of cookies on this site.

We use these to aid in improving and maintaining our website. Cookies are used for functionality and to track visitor behaviour on this site, primarily for Google Analytics.

Google Inc are members of the US Safe Harbor Scheme. This scheme allows the transfer of data from within the EEA to countries that are outside of the EEA without having to enter into a specific data transfer agreement. Companies that sign up to the scheme are deemed to provide adequate protection for personal data transmitted from Europe. Google Inc's registration is at http://safeharbor.export.gov/companyinfo.aspx?id=10543.

For more information on the cookies set by Google Analytics please go to: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/concepts/gaConceptsCookies.html.

This site also makes use of other essential Anonymous cookies, and the site won't work as expected without them. If you don't accept these anonymous cookies some features of the site may be unavailable.

UKAuthority.com's full privacy statement.

UKAuthority.com

Digital public sector news, research & engagement

Tuesday 12 February 2013Author: Michael Cross

Open data an untapped goldmine


Campaigners for open public sector data have long argued that the cost of freeing data for reuse will be exceeded by gains from economic activity and more efficient public services.

That argument is largely an act of faith.However a new study by an international consultancy suggests that evidence of economic returns is building - and that the UK will be among the first nations to experience it.

In The Open Data Economy: Unlocking Economic Value by Opening Government and Public Data, consultancy CapGemini examines government open data initiatives around the world. It finds that, by October 2011, 28 nations had established open data portals - however, very few are taking the right steps towards realizing economic benefits.

The report classifies initiatives in three categories. The UK and US are "trend setters", along with Canada, Australia and France. "Beginners" include Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Austria and - surprisingly - Estonia. Belgium and Hong Kong are among the midfield "followers" in between.

The UK scores points for "strong dissemination of government data amongst users, with almost 9,000 datasets published and more than 541,500 dataset views since starting its open data portal in 2010".

When it comes to economic returns, worldwide geographic/cartographic data remains the most widely exploited for business, followed by business and financial, socio demographic and legal.

The report cites a Finnish study suggesting that free open data encourages economic dynamism: firms that reuse government released geographical data, either freely or at marginal costs, grew 15% more per year than in countries that price such information with an objective of recovering costs. The Weather Channel, a US TV network, and GPS giant Garmin were built using raw government data, the study notes.

However the standout UK case study is in a different sector: medicine. Mastodon C, a start-up company incubated at the Open Data Institute in London and Open Health care UK (a consortium of NHS doctors and technologists dedicated to improving patient care by opening up health data), worked with publicly available NHS data on statin prescriptions. They looked at over 37 million rows of data and analyzed how much money was spent in each area on more expensive proprietary drugs. They found that the NHS in England could have saved over £200m in 2011 by prescribing generic rather than proprietary statins.

That's a serious potential payback. No doubt the CapGemini report will be well received by the UK Cabinet Office.

       
UKA Live Pre Registration
UKA Live: view recorded interviews