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Use Open Data To Improve Lives
January 8, 2018 Blog

 

The advantages of Open Data being publicly available, is that it can be universally and readily accessed, used and redistributed free of charge. By being structured for usability and computability, it allows anyone to access its boundless information. This is an important feature that is rarely practiced in our society. But it is the feature that will go towards improving countless lives.

Without a doubt, having something as powerful as boundless information that can be accessed by anyone, will bring about many heated debates about the positives and negatives of open data. Its power to impact improving governance of regulated and non-regulated industries, help to empower citizens, create new opportunity through innovation and be applied to solving local and national public problems can’t be denied.

Azrin Abd Shukor

One such example can be found in Paraguay, where a dengue outbreak had been causing countless amounts of deaths. This prompted the authorities to release related data to the public that enabled researchers to produce an early warning system which prevented more deaths. In South Africa, a Medicine Price Registry Application, was implemented to enable patients and doctors to ensure they were not being overcharged for medicines. It was created by a not-for-profit organisation that utilised an open data set. Many other similarly powerful and life-changing benefits have been recorded as a direct utilisation of open data.

By having open data available to the masses, it allows anyone with an interest to find solutions to problems. Each country or organisation faces their own set of issues that need to be overcome in order to progress. Many feel the answers to these issues are also likely to be hidden in this data.

A major concern for organisations and governments is in having open data without having to give up competitive advantage or compromising privacy. Maybe even to look for ways to monetise the outcomes of the data to make it more lucrative to share better data that is usable and useful. A worthwhile task towards a worthwhile cause.

The Big Open Wrangle run by Big Community and supported by MAMPU, gives you the chance to help work with open data, build an app for open data, collate open data sets to make it better and more usable, or simply donate your own data to add to the richness of the region’s Open Data Initiatives.

You can sign up for the Big Open Wrangle here.

By : Azrin Abd Shukor, Country Manager, NetApp Malaysia

 

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