The Open Data 500 is the a comprehensive study of U.S. companies that use open government data to generate new business and develop new products and services. The study will identify, describe, and analyze companies that use open government data in their businesses.
The Open Data 500 is designed to provide a basis for assessing the value of government data; help encourage the development of new open data companies; and foster a dialogue between government and business on how government data can be made more useful. The study is funded by the Knight Foundation and conducted by the Governance Lab (GovLab).
Open data is free, public data that anyone can use to launch commercial and nonprofit ventures, do research, make data-driven decisions, and solve complex problems.
The GovLab has released an initial list of just over 500 “open data companies’ ‘“companies powered at least in part by open government data. This list, published on the new website www.OpenData500.com, demonstrates the wide range of valuable applications open government data is supporting in multiple economic sectors.
In addition to publishing the list of 500 “open data companies,’ which is now online and available for free download, the GovLab also posted in-depth profiles of 50 of these companies ‘“ a sample of the detailed information that will be available when the final Open Data 500 study is published in early 2014. In the spirit of openness, the GovLab is inviting the public, experts, and companies themselves to comment on specific businesses that are candidates for the final list, on issues in the use of open data, and on ideas for the study itself.
Preliminary results from the study show the following:
- Economic value: Open Data is a significant resource for businesses across the U.S.
- Covering many sectors: These Open Data companies are building economic value in many parts of the economy, including health, energy, transportation, finance, and others.
- Large and small, old and new: The list of companies includes startups and established businesses, ranging in size from one-person operations to companies with thousands of employees.
- Many ways to succeed: These companies are using a range of business models, including advertising, revenue from sales of services, and others.
- Making government data work better: Open Data companies use state, city, and many kinds of federal data ‘“ and their experience ranges from excellent to frustrating. Through the Open Data 500 study, companies are providing candid feedback on their experience with government data, which the GovLab plans to use to start a new dialogue between data suppliers and data users.