How open data can benefit small business

open-dataBig data, and the values of it have been well reported over the last few years, but the very name big data conjures up something that is only of value to large organizations.

The same is often the case for open data too, and a recent report argues the case for the commercial benefits that can be derived from open data in the small and medium sized enterprise market.

The commercial benefits of open data

The paper looks at the various ways in which small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are currently using open data.  It touches on issues surrounding its use, such as how it’s collected, stored and used, before then outlining some of the parameters for success with open data.

A number of key trends emerge from the paper:

  • The most common form of open data currently being used by SMEs is that produced by the government, although scientific data is also in common usage.
  • The SME market stands to gain substantially from open data because such organizations often lack the kind of analytical grunt to process large data sets.
  • The B2B sector have thus far stolen a march on the B2C sector in terms of open data usage.
  • Whilst the data is often freely available, many businesses are building commercial services off of the data they’re harvesting.  This typically involves subscription based business models, but there are also ones around advertising, freemium models and licensing fees.
  • The biggest challenge facing SMEs is around issues such as data quality, the lack of skills to manage such data sets and various privacy concerns.

The paper goes on to provide ten principles by which the authors believe SMEs can successfully utilize open data.  It hopes to provide a roadmap for any SME that’s looking to embark down that path and makes for a valuable addition to the toolkit for any organization wishing to do so.

Preview added by Open data Aha!

[gview file=”http://images.thegovlab.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/OpenData-and-SME-Final-Aug2015.pdf”]

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