Data-Driven Innovation Adds Billions to the Australian Economy


In my blog last week, I talked about data-driven innovation in my home state of North Carolina. These programs were several great examples of local government using data to improve trust and accountability but didn’t specifically speak about their positive impact in concrete, economic terms. I have talked about how quantifying and showing program success is key to driving people to change toward a culture of open data in a case study from the UK and elsewhere on my blog. And as mentioned in the quote above by Dr. Martin Trevino, data must be presented in a way decisionmakers can understand to be useful.

Open Data 500 Australia has partnered with the GovLab to present government data in a way multiple audiences can understand. It contains 7,000 datasets available through a data portal and over 2,000 datasets available on the NationalMap. The team claims it has focused on high value datasets that are valuable for business. It clearly defines that government datasets are used for clients, research and private sector projects; to assist with analysis and design; to help forecast sales; and to contribute to asset lifecycles. The Aussies have done a great job of putting open data and the respective use cases in the context of improving business.

According to a 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers study, data-driven innovation added between $48-87 billion in new value to the Australian economy. They describe their Geospatial Economic Model in further detail, including a layering of location and population data with other innovation indicators to arrive at this dollar estimate. They are then able to brilliantly communicate with infographics and a high level summary so legislators, business owners and others without a technical background can internalize the information and see the value of open data.

Just as Link Digital has so aptly mentioned, I too “would like to see the Government working more closely with industry to help coordinate open data opportunities that will improve those industries.” I would love to see the U.S. and other countries follow a model similar to Australia. In addition to publishing existing government data sets, we’d take a hard look at adding data that has a relevant business purpose. Perhaps the US and others could even collaborate even more with a dashboard or other story telling device of all countries and their open data efforts in one web location. Telling the data story with not just antidotes but with numbers will show everyone the impact open data is making.



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