Given the considerable attention that the economic outcomes of open data releases has received over the past year, with trillions of dollars in potential value flowing across headlines, it’s worth reminding everyone of the impacts of open data beyond the bottom line. Thankfully, Emily Shaw, the national policy manager at the Sunlight Foundation, did exactly that in a blog post today, including a handy briefing document that I have embedded below. She credited her colleagues for the brief:
.@digiphile Thanks for the post! Credit for the excellent doc examples should mainly go to my colleagues @internetrebecca & @alisha_writes
— Emily Shaw (@emilydshaw) April 22, 2014
“Democratic governance improves when people have data that helps them see how officials are doing relative to past or promised performance,” she wrote.
As Shaw highlighted in her post, open data can increase the transparency of governments, corporations, journalism or academia. Its release and analysis can and does hold those same entities accountable. Open data can enable efficiencies in information search, access and retrieval, supporting the case of those looking for the return on investment in these kinds of open government initiatives. And open data can support and enhance civic engagement and participation between the people and their government.