An Open Conversation With an Open Data Czar - Digits - WSJ
gavinbaker's bookmarks 2014-07-11
"If data is 'the new oil,' then the Open Data Institute’s 5,000 square feet building in London’s trendy Shoreditch neighborhood is a huge oil field in the heart of the U.K. capital. In the 18 months since it was established, the ODI — a hybrid non-profit data science school, research institute, startup accelerator, and business franchise — has been digging, mining, analyzing, and dealing in vast reserves of data. It has developed data training programs and courses for journalists, lawyers, executives, and practitioners, training over 300 people from 14 countries, including World Bank officials. It runs a corporate membership program with over 80 clients, who pay from £1000 to £50,000 per year. It conducts R&D on open data sets for internal research, public policy advocacy, social issues, and paying customers who want to know where the inefficiencies are, and where the potential for innovation is, particularly around financial data. And it’s built an international franchise in 13 countries, with each franchisee paying 10% of their ODI-related work to HQ. 56% percent of its London office’s income is from commercial work with revenues last year totaling £2 million. And in the spirit of open data that it champions, all of its financial and corporate data is made public on its web site. The ODI’s director Gavin Starks, a successful tech veteran with a degree in Astronomy, believes there is a strong business case to be made for governments, organizations and businesses to make most of their data open – that is, share it online to unlock its potential. Individuals, Mr. Starks believes, will eventually own their private data and license it back to companies in exchange for money, goods or services. He recently sat down with The Wall Street Journal for an interview ..."
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