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How Does The Business World Monetise Open Data
December 18, 2017 BOW MAMPU open data



Has Open Data as a value creation medium proved itself in the business world? Currently most of itsuse is through governmental initiatives and even that is at a minimal disclosure. Where governmentis concerned, there should some accountability for people paying taxes for services to know howtheir government is using it by revealing their spending books to demonstrate how well they’vespent the taxes.

The situation is rather different in the corporate world. Most data are of personal and proprietary innature; where idea and trademark theft will be difficult to mitigate whilst conversely, most of thedata sets available through government sponsored portals contain personal information. Forinstance, having data from a person’s iPad or iPhone data that Apple could hold are sensitive andpersonal, that no one would want shared or used in an open data platform. Even if the data wereshared, proper trace mechanisms would need to be in place and visibility of how and where the datawill be used should be revealed.

Therefore, finding a way that businesses can somehow make money from something that isfundamentally free, that doesn’t have the proper governance to protect those sharing, is somethingthat they will need to overcome. Open Data is free. Governments place no fee when accessing theterabytes of data at their sponsored portals. However, the application and collection of these datasets could potentially yield billions in revenue, if used in the right context.  
Currently there lacks a business model for monetising Open Data use. However, other domains suchas web-based search engines that use advertising as way of making money can bring in more than$30BN per quarter! Quite a return on investment for something that is essentially free to use. Otherssuggest that specialised apps or services, subscriptions to APIs that process raw Open Data and offeradditional features (like filtering) and premium data sales, could be alternative business models.

So the value is apparent while the means is elusive. Ingenuity is needed to bring the value of OpenData for businesses. Most governments are willing to open up public data to the masses and arepromoting its use in their own ways. They achieve their ROI, despite tight government budgetingwhich threatens hosting portals. However, the Open Data movement is still flourishing, at least forpublic sector data. It is therefore a huge responsibility to find the proper leverage to open up thesecorporate data without sacrificing either the competitive edge, proprietary knowledge andeventually generate revenue.

Big Community together with MAMPU are looking for individuals and organisations willing to assistin populating and making our open data of high quality and easily accessible. We are running achallenge for individuals to take part in the Big Open Wrangle. Come register with us and be part ofthis initiative today!