6 ways to harness the value of open data

A treasure trove of free information assets is dispersed across public and private institutions. Here's how can you use that data to drive business success.

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National and local governments as well as NGOs such as the World Bank, IMF and World Health Organization offer web portals to access their datasets. In the US, the data.gov service offers access to 320,000 datasets, the UK's data.gov.uk has 51,000 and the EU's portal comprises 1.36 million. These allow the free download of data on consumer spending, weather, mapping, company financials, public procurement contracts and much more.

On top of this are private data resources from companies such as Google and Yelp. Google offers rich data on search behavior from around the world while Yelp offers an open dataset of its 8.6 million reviews on 161,000 US businesses.

The economic value of this data is difficult to calculate but McKinsey has estimated that efficient use of this data could unlock $3 trillion of value across the global economy while the EU believes open data was worth €76 billion to the trading block in 2020.

Here are 6 ways you can put this data to work in your organization to accelerate innovation, cut costs and improve competitive advantage.

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