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2020: The Open Data World

Katie Richard on

Data is being let out of it’s vault.

2014 and 2015 have marked a turning point in how governments are using their data and presenting it to the public. A precedent has been placed on data transparency and we are just at the beginning. By 2020 we expect to see drastic changes in the open data world.

Open data has become the established practice, and governments that are not publishing open data are falling behind.

50% of Countries Have Open Data

Ninety-seven countries now support open data which is a 61% increase from the previous year.

Open Data countries from OKFN

Europe is leading open data. European countries take 4 out of the 5 top open data spots.

Open data contributions have been increasing at the the state and local levels. You’ll find open data helping better cities worldwide including New York, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Paris, etc…

Let’s Take a Look at Data Now

Data in One Second

The data from above was checked is in real-time, if you look now, you might find even bigger numbers.

About 45% of the world’s population uses the internet; approximately 3.2 billion people. The visualization from the University of Oxford shows the distribution of the population online by country. Each dot represents approximately 470,000 people online.

The World Online

IBM created an excellent infographic; predicting that by 2020 35 Zetabytes (that’s 35 followed by 21 zeros) of data will be generated annually.

Although not all of this data is open, as the open data movement gains momentum more data will become available to the public for use in civic hacking and social change.

We’ve compiled a list of eight trends that are going to change the way we view, use and interact with open data by 2020.

  • Public and Private sector comparison and cooperation. As governments aim to make their data open they are going to need help. They will increasingly rely on other governments as models and private organizations will emerge to help maintain, manage, and display the open data for greater public accessibility.
  • Open Data progression will move faster. In the past, it took 12-16 months to move from stage to stage but the international community has been quickening the pace to 6-9 months Costs and barriers to open data will be lowered as open data becomes the new normal.
  • Data will become searchable outside databases. Open data will be integrated in our search engines so you can google to compare or even visualize your data query.
  • Public debate and engagement. There will be more consideration on data implementations and privacy. Mosaic reviews will be necessary because isolated data might not reveal personal information on it’s own, but over a few data sets personal/private data might be extracted.
  • Innovation in communication between citizens and government data. There will be improvements in data presentation and how the data will reach the public. Better feedback channels will emerge, to promote an open dialogue between the public and data providers.
  • Better quality and standardization from collection, to reporting and indexing. Standardization will occur so that local>state>national level data can be compared with ease and accuracy.
  • Demand-driven data versus supply-driven. Open data is a compilation of presenting what is on hand; with time this will change. We will have a better understanding of what areas of our society need data collection and will address those needs.
  • Better data interfaces. No longer will data be buried several clicks deep on websites. It will be showcased on the front page. Data request forms will be a thing of the past as data will be open and immediately available.

It’s established that open data by itself is not enough to deliver change. Open data needs a catalyst; people. By 2020, we will live in a world where we will have better access and understanding of our data and initiate change and conversation.