Saturday, April 5, 2014

Government open data proves a treasure trove for savvy businesses; ComputerWorld, 3/24/14

Cindy Waxer, ComputerWorld; Government open data proves a treasure trove for savvy businesses:
""We're at a tipping point," says Joel Gurin, senior adviser at New York University's Governance Lab (GovLab) and author of Open Data Now: The Secret to Hot Startups, Smart Investing, Savvy Marketing, and Fast Innovation. "This is the year open data goes from being a specialized expertise to becoming part of a CIO's tool kit. It's a very exciting time."
But unlocking open data's value remains a challenge. For one thing, much of today's open data flows from a whopping 10,000 federal information systems, many of which are based on outdated technologies. And because open data can be messy and riddled with inaccuracies, IT professionals struggle to achieve the data quality and accuracy levels required for making important business decisions. Then there are the data integration headaches and lack of in-house expertise that can easily hinder the transformation of open data into actionable business intelligence.
Yet for those IT leaders who manage to convert decades-old county records, public housing specs and precipitation patterns into a viable business plan, "the sky's the limit," says Gurin."

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