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Open data

Why is open data so important?

Data has been referred to as the new raw material of the twenty-first century. And like any other raw material, it needs investment to locate, extract and refine it before it yields value. Used wisely, data creates opportunities for organisations to make more robust decisions, uncover cost savings and get to know their customers better.

As defined by, “a piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and distribute it – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike”. In 2009, the UK Government, among several other national and regional governments around the world, started to open up large amounts of public sector information. At first, the Government’s initiative gave citizens and the media the chance to root out poor performance or behaviour. And while transparency remains a fundamental aim, open government data also has an important role to play in the economy, supplemented by a small by growing volume of data made freely available by businesses and individuals.

Open data, employed in combination with open platforms, such as APIs (Application Programming Interface), open standards and open licences, expands the network of minds and unlocks the data’s latent potential. However, the companies and entrepreneurs using open data need to be nurtured and supported if they are to succeed.

Deloitte Analytics open data thought leadership

  • Data Nation 2013: Balancing growth and responsibility
    Data Nation 2013 considers Great Britain's attitudes to data collection and use by private and public sector organisations. Our research reveals that people are not confident in the way that companies collect, use, handle and share data, and more should be done to educate internet users on what's happening with their data and why.
  • Open growth: Stimulating demand for open data in the UK
    This short briefing note summarises elements of Deloitte LLP’s ongoing research programme into open data, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Open Data Institute.
  • Open data
    Driving growth, ingenuity and innovation
  • Unlocking growth - How open data creates new opportunities for the UK
    The relationship between government, business and citizen is undergoing a fundamental change. In these times of continuing austerity, government leaders understand that opening up access to data can lead to greater public sector efficiency, transparency and accountability.

Key contact

  • Harvey Lewis
    Analytics Research Director
    Deloitte Insight
    +44 (0)20 7303 6805

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