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The rise of open data driven businesses in emerging markets

Alla Morrison's picture
Also available in: 中文 | العربية | Español | Français


Mapping traffic flows using real time data.

Key findings --

  • Many new data companies have emerged around the world in the last few years. Of these companies, the majority use some form of government data.
  • There are a large number of data companies in sectors with high social impact and tremendous development opportunities.
  • An actionable pipeline of data-driven companies exists in Latin America and in Asia. The most desired type of financing is equity, followed by quasi-equity in the amounts ranging from $100,000 to $5 million, with averages of between $2 and $3 million depending on the region. The total estimated need for financing may exceed $400 million.
The economic value of open data is no longer a hypothesis
How can one make money with open data which is akin to air – free and open to everyone? Should the World Bank Group be in the catalyzer role for a sector that is just emerging?  And if so, what set of interventions would be the most effective? Can promoting open data-driven businesses contribute to the World Bank Group’s twin goals of fighting poverty and boosting shared prosperity?

These questions have been top of the mind since the World Bank Open Finances team convened a group of open data entrepreneurs from across Latin America to share their business models, success stories and challenges at the Open Data Business Models workshop in Uruguay in June 2013. We were in Uruguay to find out whether open data could lead to the creation of sustainable new businesses and jobs. To do so, we tested a couple of hypotheses: open data has economic value, beyond the benefits of increased transparency and accountability; and open data companies with sustainable business models already exist in emerging economies.

The specter of big data is haunting the world, but has the data revolution already occurred?

Prasanna Lal Das's picture
Also available in: 中文 | العربية | Français | Español

Changes to the supply and demand of data are restructuring privileged hierarchies of knowledge, with amateur hackers and machine-readable technology becoming a central part of its analysis. Traditional experts may be hoping for a gradual evolution, but a parallel revolution led by practitioners in the private sector may already be underway. Prasanna Lal Das argues that partnerships will need to incorporate these new practitioners because for them, the data revolution is already a fact of life.

This isn’t the first age of revolution, but this one feels like it might not last 100 years. Our world is transmogrifying in front of our eyes – sometimes more forcefully than others – and the traditionally dry world of data, dominated by dons and ‘experts’, hasn’t been immune to changes either. It might even be the spark for at least some revolutionary fervour, especially since the report of the high level panel of eminent persons on the post-2015 development agenda called for a ‘data revolution’ to ‘strengthen data and statistics for accountability and decision-making purposes’. The official data revolution has however unfolded slowly, sometimes making one wonder if it’s going to be a revolution of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, and for the bureaucrats. Or if it will be a revolution that truly changes how we measure our world, what we measure in it, and who does the measurements.

The Data Revolution is Here: How is Open Data Changing the Private Sector?

Prasanna Lal Das's picture

How do you take the same data that everybody has access to and convert it into a billion dollar business? When do you look at all the data in the world and say you want more (and that you are going to collect it like no one has done before)? How do you stop worrying about open data, and begin solving development challenges instead? Who is doing what with open data and how and why?

An Open Data Community That Grows Together, Stays Together 

Samuel Lee's picture

The power of open data to bring together people from different streams of life for civic purposes was on full display around the world on February 22-23, 2014. Washington, D.C. was home to one of the 194 global International Open Data Day events that dotted cities around the world. Data was scraped. Visualizations were made. Code was written. Interfaces were designed. Prototypes were built. Initiatives were born (Here’s looking at you, Code for Nepal!). New friends were made. And a tooth was chipped.


photo credit: @anjelikadeo

 

Despite the unseasonably warm weather in Washington, D.C., more than 350 civic hackers, development specialists, coders, designers, and enthusiasts participated in two days of Open Data Day hacking and tutorials at the World Bank. Based on an informal poll (raise your hand, please?!) of all attendees at the beginning of the event, nearly two-thirds of the audience had  never attended an Open Data Day event before. This was an unexpected but welcome surprise and bodes well for the continued growth of the open data community in Washington, DC.

From open data to development impact – the crucial role of the private sector

Prasanna Lal Das's picture

Can open data lead to reduced energy consumption (and therefore slow down climate change)? Can open data help improve maternal health services (and thus improve facets of public delivery of services)? Can open data help farmers and crop insurers make better crop predictions (and thus lead to smarter investment decisions in agriculture)? Can open data empower citizens to fight back against police corruption (and thus help promote the rule of law)?

खुले डेटा से विकास प्रभाव तक — निजी क्षेत्र की महत्‍वपूर्ण भूमिका

Prasanna Lal Das's picture

क्‍या ओपन डेटा (खुला/सर्वसुलभ डेटा) की वजह से ऊर्जा खपत में कमी आ सकती है (और इसलिए जलवायु परिवर्तन धीमा हो सकता है)? क्‍या ओपन डेटा से मातृत्‍व स्‍वास्‍थ्‍य सेवाएं बेहतर हो सकती हैं (और इस तरह सेवाओं के सार्वजनिक वितरण संबंधी पहलुओं को बेहतर किया जा सकता है)? क्‍या ओपन डेटा से किसानों और फसल बीमाकर्ताओं को फसल संबंधी पूर्वानुमान लगाने में मदद मिल सकती है (और इस तरह कृषि में निवेश के अधिक समझदारी वाले निर्णय लिये जा सकते हैं)? क्‍या पुलिस भ्रष्‍टाचार से लड़ने में ओपन डेटा नागरिकों को सशक्‍त कर सकता है (और इस तरह कानून के शासन को प्रोत्‍साहित करता है)?