This video makes the topic real by providing real global examples of success.
- [Instructor] We spent some time discussing the genesis of open data, its use around the world, some of the platforms used, and introduced you to global leadership in open data best illustrated through the Open Government Partnership. Now let's go deeper by beginning to explore some examples of open data in action. Let's remind ourselves of the benefits of open data. In this case, I'm going to use the four areas of value as noted by GovLab, an organization whose goal is to strengthen the ability of institutions, including but not limited to governments, and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively, and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems.
The four benefits they reference are to improve government, to empower citizens, to create opportunity, and to help solve public problems. To understand how open data might achieve these benefits, let's look at some examples. In Uruguay, citizens get one opportunity per year to sign up for their health benefits. This can be a complex process for even the best-informed citizens. Selecting options for health requires additional information and insights that the citizens of Uruguay didn't have access to, often putting them at a disadvantage.
To help with the process, the government of Uruguay decided to publish a wealth of health data on its open data portal, enabling citizens to get vital information to help with their health benefit choices. In Brazil, where government corruption has often been a feature of the political landscape, open data was used as a way to publish information on government spending. Providing this visibility has helped to reduce corruption in this area. Finally, in Sweden, Open Aid, an open data platform, was created to enhance transparency and accountability in development cooperation.
Specifically, the platform visualizes when, to whom, and why aid funding was paid out, and what the results were. Now, let's look at another few examples of open data in action. In Los Angeles, California, government officials and other stakeholders are committed to the Mayor Sustainability City Plan. This is a roadmap for a Los Angeles that is environmentally healthy, economically prosperous, provides opportunities, and focuses on results in the short term and long term.
Here you can see a snippet of how open data from Los Angeles is being used in a dashboard to track progress. In this example, a goal is stated. Increase cumulative new housing unit construction to 100,000 by 2021. The data that supports this goal and the progress, also shown in the data, is presented in the dashboard. Visitors to the website can drill into the data to better understand it and also to participate in progress if they choose to.
This kind of transparency holds the mayor, his team, and stakeholders across the city accountable to these agreed goals. It makes their city and their government better. Finally, let's take a look at open data that is used to integrate with a commercial enterprise to create more innovation, which results in more value to users. Let's look at Yelp. Yelp is the popular US-based online destination whose purpose is to connect people with great local businesses. It attracts over 20 million visitors per month.
Popular on this site is information on restaurants. In this example, I've chosen a popular San Francisco restaurant called Tadu Ethiopian Kitchen. The restaurant has an impressive four and a half stars. Clearly people like a lot about this place. The Yelp page on Tadu includes useful information on open and closing times, its menu, and price range. But look closer and you can also find out health information. Where does this health information come from? Like most cities, restaurants are subject to regular health inspections by a government authority.
If the inspection goes badly, a restaurant can be closed down. Restaurants are therefore highly motivated to keep standards high to meet and exceed health regulation requirements. This health authority publishes health data in an open data format. Yelp has decided to incorporate this open data into its restaurant pages. Now, in addition to the other useful information that was provided by the restaurant, Yelp can also inform the visitor about the restaurant's health inspection scores. In my example, Tadu gets an impressive 100 out of 100.
That's great, and probably a place that I'd like to eat at. Through these few examples, it becomes clear that open data has remarkable benefits in our society. From reducing corruption to improving the performance of cities to giving businesses the opportunity to innovate and produce more value for their customers. Done right, open data has the possibility to be transformative for our communities.
Dr. Jonathan Reichental introduces real-world use cases for open data, as well as the steps you need to take to develop and operationalize an open data program. He also explains how data scientists use open data to tell stories and drive data visualizations. Along the way, he provides numerous examples of open data in action: improving government, empowering citizens, creating opportunity, and solving public problems.
- Understanding what open data really is
- Current open data efforts around the globe
- Open data in action
- Designing an open data governance process, including policies
- Monetizing open data
- Storytelling with open data
- Selling the value of open data
- Measuring the value of open data