Governments leading by example with public sector data (Data-Driven Innovation: Big Data for Growth and Well-Being)

This chapter examines the benefits and challenges of opening access to data from one of the economy’s most data-intensive sectors, the public sector. The potential of public sector information (PSI) including open government data (OGD) is discussed from several perspectives: use by government itself which, in tandem with data analytics, can make for better informed policy making and enable delivery of more innovative services; open access for citizens, which can greatly improve accountability through transparency and lead to citizens’ empowerment; and reuse in the private sector, a stimulus to innovation. The challenges in implementing open data strategies are also enumerated, including dissuasive pricing and licensing practices; differences in licensing systems across national institutions; lack of information and standards and poor interoperability; organisational and cultural obstacles within the public sector; and legal constraints. The chapter concludes with a number of recommended policy options.
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