Open Data Contenders, Private Sector, Big Data and Philanthropy #Data Digest

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Open Data Applied

Open Data Now: Hottest Contenders for 2014

This post by Mark Boyd on the Programmable Web blog, talks about the soon to be released book Open Data Now by Joel Gurin.  He also reviews some open data businesses that are listed on the pilot website OpenData500, which is being managed by NYUGovLab. Both the website and the book anticipate the further development of open data this year and highlight the importance of APIs in powering this new wave of open data innovation.


Can open data work for the private sector?

This post by Mark Say for CIO UK explains why an increasing number of companies are becoming interested in opening up data and crowdsourcing data to used it to develop their businesses because consumers expect more transparency and social responsibility. As a result some companies are starting to make their data on sustainability and supply chains available. In addition, sharing of risk provides a business case for the open data model, in the same way that the sharing data among insurers has proved beneficial for that sector.


6 New Year’s Strategies for Open Data Entrepreneurs

In this GovLab Digest Stefaan Verhulst suggests 6 strategies that can be adopted by those seeking to become open data entrepreneurs and cites some useful examples for each. He says that we should: 1) Learn how to add value to free Open Data, 2) Focus on big opportunities: health, finance, energy, education, 3) Explore choice engines and Smart Disclosure apps, 4) Help consumers tap the value of personal data, 5)  Provide new data solutions to governments at all levels and 6) Look for unusual Open Data opportunities.


Big Data Applied

How Big Data Will Change the Face of Philanthropy

In this Wall Street Journal post Lucy Bernholz discusses how the ability to analyse big data can revolutionise philanthropy by increasing the effectiveness of donors and charities. It can help inform more effective giving and to the right charities, for example through donor apps, while helping NGOs improve their strategies, fundraise more effectively and better fulfil their mission. Sharing of data for more coordinated and effective work is cited as important. She also looks at challenges that must be addressed, like the undemocratic nature of big data, the potential for privacy violation and security breaches, and the need for local partners to gain skills to collect, use and analyze their data. In addition, the potential for anonymous giving and donor intent for donated data must also be understood within such a framework.


First Access, Cignifi Use Big Data to Bring Economic Security to the Unbanked

First Access and Cignifi are two American startups that are working towards helping some of the world’s roughly 2.5 billion unbanked adults get loans and build credit histories by analysing mobile phone data and providing this information to lenders as a predictor of creditworthiness. First Access, introduced its service in Tanzania, and has developed a cloud-based platform that pairs a lender's appetite for risk with mobile data analysis. Cignifi currently operates in Mexico, Chile, and Brazil and intends to do business in Ghana. They focus on countries with an emerging middle-income population and a larger number of people with phones than bank accounts.  Both First Access and Cignifi gather information about loan applicants' lifestyles such as the airtime and data they buy, the texts they send and the times they call.