Posted by: robertheinz | May 23, 2013

Welcome the golden age of open data

Big data has officially heralded the golden age for marketers and communicators around the globe. As The Economist reports in its latest issue, on May 9th Barack Obama ordered that all data created or collected by America’s federal government must be made available free to the public, unless this would violate privacy, confidentiality or security. In addition to the information that is provided to today’s communicators through analytic tools, like those mentioned in this weeks reading assignments, a large scale release of government data is sure to reshape business models again, mainly because such information hasn’t been (easily and legally) accessible for most professionals.

The Economist refers to the impact GPS and weather data have had on business around the world, once the data was made accessible for them. The president himself sees the future default of government information as “open [to everyone] and machine-readable”, that includes your voter registration information, your phone number, pollution data of the neighborhood you life in, or official sanitation ratings of your favorite restaurant. This new wave of big data allows for an even more granular targeting mechanism for marketers, but also shifts even more power towards the consumer and away from businesses. What specific impacts open public data will have remains to be seen, but also Ronald Reagan never guessed that future drivers would obey robot voices telling them to turn left, when he made GPS available to the world.

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