A year ago we wrote a post on the top 5 questions about World Bank Open Data based on thousands of email and phone queries we received from data users each week. Since then we’ve launched our user support forum and interactive help desk, which makes it easier for our data experts and support specialists to see what users have to say about the data and answer questions faster. It also gives us better data on the type of questions the users are asking. So, we’ve prepared another top 5 – this time discussing themes that the users are interested in.
The final report from the Big Data for International Development DataDive came out a few days ago (see below) and the obvious question is what's next? Sure, the DataDive was a success in terms of the number and caliber of people that participated, the ambition and scope of the problems they worked on (mostly around better/faster/cheaper poverty measurement, and more effective/proactive fight against fraud and corruption), and the results that were achieved in a very short span of time (showing fairly conclusively that big data based approaches can be effectively applied in the context of international development). The report itself points out a few next steps (a data competition, specific action items against each project that the teams worked on, the need to embrace new types of data skills and techniques, and continued effort to open new and more diverse data from both private and public sources) but here is a look at some other themes that emerged during the dive that are probably also worth thinking about -
New data webpages for 29 countries with thousands of education data points
Only few insiders know that the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is gathering vast amounts of data and education indicators from dozens of GPE developing-country partners. There are thousands of precious data points representing all aspects of a country’s education sector – unfortunately often buried in lengthy documents.
Open data for business is suddenly the rage. The Economist calls it the new goldmine, the new open data policy released by the US government explicitly links open data with 'entrepreneurship and economic growth', a Capgemini report recently valued the impact of open data on the EU27 economy at 32 billion Euros in 2010, other estimates put the potential of open data in Europe at 180 billion a year, McKinsey valued health data alone at $350 billion annually - the numbers are eye-popping and 'no one has a clue what breakthroughs open data will allow'. The conversation around open data has definitely shifted beyond transparency, accountability, and civic engagement.
The ascent of financial inclusion in the policy agendas of governments and international organizations has been swift, to say the least. Its rise has been accompanied by a torrent of financial inclusion data, from supply-side indicators of bank branch penetration, to demand-side measures of the usage of formal accounts, to wide-ranging data on finance at the firm level. Yet with all these different datasets floating around, it has often been difficult to arrive at a holistic understanding of the financial inclusion landscape in a particular country, or develop international standards of measurement and monitoring. With the release on April 21st of the G20’s Financial Inclusion Data Portal showcasing the ‘G20 Basic Set of Financial Inclusion Indicators’, we hope that that will change.
Last week, the World Bank launched a much-improved version of its Open Data Catalog. We first discussed our plans for the new catalog in a blog post a few months ago, as the next step in the open data principles that we outlined last year.
What's new in the data catalog? Some of the changes are obvious. For starters, the catalog is more user-friendly. All the essential information is available in a one-page list, which you can sort by name, popularity, or date. You can access bulk downloads, APIs or query tools from the same page with a single click. And you can see all the available metadata without having to visit separate pages on various sites.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim recently announced ambitious goals to end poverty and boost shared prosperity, with a target to reduce the percentage of absolute poor – those living on or less than $1.25 a day (in 2005 PPP) – to 3 percent by 2030. The Bank, he said, will also focus on expanding opportunities for those living at the bottom 40 percent of the income or consumption distribution in each country.
This post is part of the Q&A Series with the Data Ambassadors from DataDive2013. You can also read an interview with the fraud and corruption data ambassadors, a recap of Data Dive 2013, and watch the presentations from the weekend.
Photo credit: Itir Sonuparlak
During DataDive 2013, each project had an assigned data ambassador, a leader to guide and direct the research and efforts of the teams. In the days following the DataDive, we spoke with two of the data ambassadors from the fraud and corruption related projects to learn more about their experiences. Read their responses below and join the conversation in our comments section.
- Taimur Sajid develops financial models to asses risk for a financial firm and acted as a data ambassador during the DataDive.
- Marc Maxson is an Innovation Consultant with Global Giving and brought his Heuristic Auditing Tool to the DataDive.