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Open Data, a key to open future gates

Open data as the name suggests, is data that is available openly for it’s general use, publicly. Users get a chance to study it & project different values associated with it.

As it is named OPEN DATA,  this data can come from any source like individuals, companies or governments and  is available with limited restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control and that’s what make it special.

However, the extent to which information is truly open varies in 5 ways:

  • Accessibility
  • Machine
  • Readability
  • Cost and rights for reuse
  • Redistribution

Open Data becomes much more helpful in certain cases where data is essentially required to open new gates for further digging into the specific area. Many individuals and organisations collect a broad range of different types of data in order to perform their tasks. Here are some of the fields where open data can be really helpful:

Government Data

Open data, especially open government data, is a tremendous resource that is as yet largely untapped. These days, a lot of government data, which used to be confidential earlier has been made open for public use. Governments are particularly significant in this respect, both because of the quantity and centrality of the data it collects, but also because most of the government data is public data by law, and therefore could be made open and made available for others to use.

Why that would be interesting?

It is already possible to point to a large number of areas where open government data is creating value. Some of these areas include:

  • Transparency and democratic control
  • Participation
  • Self-empowerment
  • Improved or new private products and services
  • Innovation
  • Improved efficiency of government services
  • Improved effectiveness of government services
  • Impact measurement of policies

New knowledge from combined data sources and patterns in large data volume.This untapped potential can be unleashed if we turn public government data into open data. This will only happen, however, if it is really open, i.e. if there are no restrictions (legal, financial or technological) to its re-use by others. Every restriction will exclude people from re-using the public data, and make it harder to find valuable ways of doing that. For the potential to be realized, public data needs to be open data.

Scientists & Researchers gain more insights into the big government organizations which help them to study the stats & to be able to get more insights for past years to be more precise for future researches.

Greener & better informed

Open data helped a lot of organizations, position their products & services based on the data provided by various organizations and thus stepping into environment friendly technologies & supporting the “GO GREEN” concept.

Some of the industries that can make use of open data:

Oil & Gas Industry

  • Measure carbon emissions to find out the solutions for a sustainable development
  • Take into account the usage & variations in price of gasoline & diesel industry
  • Monitoring petroleum mills & thereby, digging deeper to find the alternative (renewable) sources of energy

The chart below shows the amount of CO2 emissions in two years, country wise and thus helped to identify the geographical emissions of the resources:

 

Health and Pharmaceutical Industry

Open data plays a major role when it comes to health analytics. Previous available data has always helped scientists & researchers to keep an eye on the figures & thus motivating them to go deeper into the field for further analysis.

Some of the areas been helped by open data are:

  • Invigilating epidemiology of a disease internationally
  • Improving patient outcomes
  • Virulence and strains of a disease most commonly found around the globe
  • Mobility & mortality of a disease
  • Enabling patients to make informed choices from among the healthcare options available to them
  • Communicating with the fellow researchers based on the exact number
  • Usage & potential scope of improvement in a particular pharmaceutical drug
  • Fueling new healthcare companies and innovation.
  • Disease outcome & it’s prevention.

Here’s an example of historical outbreaks, number of deaths caused by Ebola virus presented with the help of open data available at CDC (Centers of Disease Control & Prevention):

 

Open data in electronics & computer sciences:

Open data is viewed as a transformative force for change and a critical part of our future. Apps are the industry buzz words for monetized application development and open data is the new enabler for economic growth through use in such applications. Small, focused applications based upon one or more datasets, delivered in a streamlined and accessible way, are changing the lives of countless people around the world.
Apart from the never ending list , here are some of the areas where open data can help in electronics & computer science industry:

  • Making data available to technicians and thus assisting with diagnostics
  • Sharing data with other on-board equipment helps collectively accomplishing tasks that no single component could achieve individually
  • Using open data communication protocols to ensure product interchangeability, system expansion & product availability
  • Create frank & open forums to objectively address & communicate all aspects of the technology, related issues & experiences

 

Open data to Monitor Market size & Growth:

Open sources of data available from major companies, not as a part of their legal curriculum but also the best way to demonstrate their growth in the market, to be able to be foreseen by various share & stake holders. To be able to display an innovative & energetic image.

Below is an example of the world’s top 12 companies spending on advertising:

Sources

  • Understanding and Applying Advanced On-board Bus Electronics
  • opendatahandbook.org
  • thegovlab.org
  • www.ecs.soton.ac.ukive

 

How DataViz Can Help You Win The Nobel Prize

Wondering how dataviz can get you the Nobel prize?

Well here is simple answer. Careful and alluring visualization of data helps you find fortune in your research and project data in a way it was never seen before.2014-08-26_1450

Many data analysts and scientists are finding ways these days to produce astonishingly beautiful figures and release them for open use. These set of information & stats, are no longer be ignored by the fact that they are most often read by researchers than before.

Researchers are in constant search of ways to search not only for data, but also a lot of  information that can be compared and presented on a single platform.

Here are some key points keeping in mind might help you winning a noble prize ;-) .

#User Participation:

Your data should tell the story to positively engage the users. Users integration and participation is one indispensable step that should never be overlooked.

 #Make It Visual:

It is an inherent human tendency to interpret images at a much faster rate than written or explained text.  And so, it is always advisable to add more of the pictorial elements to the existing contents.

#Predict The Future:

Users are much more interested in what will happen in the future. Instead of just swinging around the past, projecting future values helps in active consumer engagement.

#Listen What Users Say:

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say, well said by Bryant H. McGill”. Listening to users needs & answering them helps in closure of an unseen gap set in between the presenter & end users.

#Project Information That Open Doors For Future Intrusion: 

Information that ignites a spark for future intrusion is more likely admired by fellow colleagues and provides them a room to discover the new possibilities.

 #Data That’ll Solve Dual Purpose:

Data that presents two ends of a successful campaign is preferred much more than the ones sniffing around a specific area only.
Addressing the current issues, how they have evolved during past and then providing answers at least once for these issues, helps in getting an active engagement & comprehension from audiences.

Keeping these simple tips in mind would definitely leave a positive impact on the viewers. And who knows, you might win a Nobel prize for an awesome presentation… ;-)

How Data Journalism Can Help You Live a Better Life?

Firstly, for my friends who don’t have a clue about what DATA JOURNALISM is? Well, here’s a possible answer… Data Journalism as the term suggests  is simply, DATA + JOURNALISM. In short, everything journalists present with data.

For many years, journalists have been using data as a source to project and put forward the realities which otherwise, would go missing.
Journalists have dealt with major data scarcity issues  (in terms of availability of open data) and it was really challenging to present them in an order best interpreted by the reader mainly because of the following reasons:

  • Lack of proper medium to create intriguing presentations
  • Scarcity of the medium to deliver the exact message

Not going much deeper to these facts, I present some of the reasons where data journalism can be really helpful & can actually help you to live a better life ;-)

 

STORY TELLING & DATA JOURNALISM

Infographics (Information & graphics) and data visualization are two main pillars of presenting an effective story. In recent years, not only the giant corporations but also SME’s are into the competition to present their reports in the most eye catching ways. Annual reports, financial stats and quarterly reports are read by far more people now than it used to be. A compelling story can be told easily by using infographics in it.

Newspapers have adopted a fine way to present breath taking stories by projecting analytics as the basis of various articles.  You can easily find graphs & charts in various reports and most articles.

Recently, the ice bucket challenge has come into light and a lot of data was drawn to express different aspects of the challenge (donation money drawn etc.) Here is a short example wherein it becomes a lot easier to interpret numbers than telling it in stories.

”Data can be the source of data journalism, or it can be the tool with which the story is told — or it can be both. Like any source, it should be treated with scepticism; and like any tool, we should be conscious of how it can shape and restrict the stories that are created with it.” — Paul Bradshaw, Birmingham City University.

 

ADAPTION TO CHANGES IN INFORMATIVE ENVIRONMENT IS IMPORTANT

“New digital technologies bring new ways of producing and disseminating knowledge in society. Data journalism can be understood as the media’s attempt to adapt and respond to the changes in our information environment — including more interactive, multi-dimensional story-telling, enabling readers to explore the sources underlying the news and encouraging them to participate in the process of creating and evaluating stories.”

— César Viana, University of Goiás

 

PERCOLATION OF DATA IS NEEDED

Gone those days when data was scarce, when journalists needed information which was not available. Today there is ample of information available, journalists need to filter carefully and find the useful information to present.

Processing is done at two levels:

(1) Analysis to bring sense and structure out of the never-ending flow of data

(2) “Presentation to get what’s important and relevant into the consumer’s head. Like science, data journalism discloses its methods and presents its findings in a way that can be verified by replication” — Philip Meyer, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

CLOSE RESEMBLANCE WITH PHOTO JOURNALISM

Data journalism has a close resemblance with photo journalism where story telling is done with images.  It differs in the way how data is projected (in forms of graphical representation). More carefully DATA is visualized, more captivating it becomes. But it is even more alluring in facts, the reason being photos does not say it all, figures does!!

 

DATA JOURNALISM HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE

Data Journalism has a long and bright future. Journalists need to be data- savvy and be able to filter & visualize it actively.  As everything gets viral so quickly, Journalists need to be very compassionate!