Covering Disruptive Technology Powering Business in The Digital Age

Home > DTA news > Blog > The key to harnessing data analytics is open data
The key to harnessing data analytics is open data
December 18, 2017 Blog big data open data


Governments today possess huge volumes of the world’s most valuable data. In order to harness this asset to propel the digital economy, data should be made available to the masses to uncover insights that can drive smarter decision-making across the public and private domains. Countries that want to make that shift usually refer to the Open Data Barometer (ODB). Produced by the World Wide Web Foundation, the Barometer looks at governments’ readiness for open data initiatives, their implementation of open data programmes and the impact that open data is having on local businesses as well as politics and civil society. It then ranks them against other countries who are registered.

Mark Micallef

Countries in Asia Pacific received widely varied score cards. While Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Japan made it to the top 10 (out of a total of 115 countries), Singapore was ranked 23rd, Indonesia 38th and Malaysia 53rd, as of 2016. However, what might be the most surprising of all is the revelation that 93% of the government data across all participating countries is still not open. In addition, only one of every two datasets is machine readable and only one in four datasets has an open license.

As a result, ODB posits that governments across the world are not as open with their data as need be and the more highly sought out data are either closed, out of date or not of high quality. Data on accountability metrics, ranging from government spending, public contracts and company ownership, are found to be lacking in clarity and of low quality. Unfortunately, government spending data is found to be public in just 3% of countries registered.

These findings certainly make open data seem like a utopia but with the advancements in data management and analytics, machine learning and cybersecurity, we are closer to achieving this vision than we have ever been. At Cloudera, we have the privilege of collaborating with industry partners and end-user organizations to do just that. Our modern data platform for machine learning and analytics optimized for the cloud enables users to develop innovative solutions to solve problems that were not possible before in a scalable, efficient and secure environment.

With key players from various industries ranging from financial and services (FSIs), telecommunications, manufacturing to healthcare and governments taking the leap to commit to a data-driven economy, the next step is for a unified government to champion this cause and build a sustainable impact on society. It is therefore encouraging to see that the Malaysia government, through its agency the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning (MAMPU) and Asia Online Publishing Group (AOPG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch the Big Open Wrangle Challenge, an initiative designed to encourage Malaysians to play a part in making the open data portal usable and well populated with data. I look forward to seeing even more innovative solutions that will enrich the application of open data through research, publication, resource sharing and expertise sharing.

By: Mark Micallef, Vice President, Asia Pacific & Japan, Cloudera