Cities and their citizens worldwide are discovering the power of open data. By opening up data about transportation, education, health care, and more, municipal governments are helping app developers, civil society organizations, and others to find innovative ways to tackle urban problems. For any city that wants to promote entrepreneurship and economic development, open data can be a valuable new resource.
Government-released open data has generated a host of new climate-change related apps, the challenge is to make it clear and usable. Government-released open data is fueling a whole new level of innovation in sustainability. Moving beyond hackathons, today’s climate data partnerships are creating unique ventures that cross boundaries between business, government and academia.
Christopher Thomas, Government Markets Manager, Esri, believes that departments need to move beyond transparency and accountability as drivers for Open Data initiatives - and start focusing on the benefits to citizens. Increasingly Open Data discussions are shifting from their early focus on the governance benefits of transparency, to a more focused conversation around economic impact. This echoes the early days of e-government - where many e-services were developed for their own sake, rather than with a clear public benefit in mind.
Retailers today have to face a new breed of empowered customers who are always connected and have more information on products than sometimes even the retailers do. Being customer-centric is the new competitive differentiation for retailers today. To serve the customer’s needs, and gain a 360 degree view of such empowered customers, retailers should be open to integrating and analyzing all forms of data, whether it is structured POS data, transaction history, loyalty data or unstructured social media data, product reviews or customer feedback.