How Can Open Data Affect Businesses?

Open data are part of the big data that can’t be ignored.

Big data play a major role in businesses today. As enterprise and end-users step in an era of data- and metrics-driven society, data itself are what businesses are becoming obsessed about—from social media engagement metrics to the number of clicks and page views to complex BI analytics of customer behavior, what they’d like to buy, and where they usually shop online.

In the first quarter of 2014, The Wall Street Journal published an article about the top 10 tech trends in 2014. One of the trends, according to the writer Daniel Burrus, CEO of Burrus Research, is that big data will get bigger and become a service.

However, in some cases, big data are available and can be interpreted and analyzed to help in making decisions.

If it’s not fully utilized, business owners and top-level management feel disappointed with the results because the data didn’t match the expectations.

According to latest McKinsey&Company survey, to maximize big data, organizations should look beyond their own data and shift towards analyzing open data.

What is open data?

Open data go beyond the proprietary data that businesses acquire from the tools they use. Open data can be in a form of public data that the government provides without copyright restrictions, shared data between companies and business partners, large data sets from scientific research, social media data, or public data sets from weather forecasts and locations to census.

Here’s how it can affect businesses in positive ways:

Innovative business ventures and ideas

The inclusion of open data to be part of the decision-making process will provide businesses innovative ventures and ideas.

The UK government has released the largest amount of data in any country, creating a culture of transparency to help businesses come up with ways to improve public activities and build crowdsourcing projects. Example is the Mapumental service that helps customers find houses to live, get updates on commuting duration, residential cost, etc.

Understanding customer behavior and habits in different perspectives

There is an untapped data in a single tweet of a user that businesses can take advantage of. That single 140-character update can mine consumer preferences, location, gender, hobbies and social dialogue.

Organizations should go beyond their data and analyze these to further understand customer behavior and habits. One Facebook status of a frustrated customer because of poor service can attribute a negative image in the long run.

Better engagement in digital media channels

Taking advantage of the open data will make organizations better communicators and service providers. As mentioned earlier in the examples given, if organizations will take time to analyze what the customer thinks and how they respond, it will help them identify the areas of improvement.

With the available digital media channels that provide open data for the public to see, it’s a great opportunity for organizations to engage with customers and build long-lasting partnership.

Open data are part of the big data that can’t be ignored, and if businesses will see it in a fresh perspective, it would somehow meet their expectations in the long run.

Photo courtesy of Open Knowledge Foundation.


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