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Stories about both Big Data and Open Data fill the headlines of tech news. One gets the perception that Big Data is more about business and Open Data applies more to governments sharing the data they hold, but Gartner says that Open Data rather than Big Data may actually be the source of the pot of gold that many businesses are after.
David Newman, research vice president at Gartner, said that “Big data is a topic of growing interest for many business and IT leaders, and there is little doubt that it creates business value by enabling organizations to uncover previously unseen patterns and develop sharper insights about their businesses and environments However, for clients seeking competitive advantage through direct interactions with customers, partners and suppliers, open data is the solution. For example, more government agencies are now opening their data to the public Web to improve transparency, and more commercial organizations are using open data to get closer to customers, share costs with partners and generate revenue by monetizing information assets.”
Gartner urges businesses that are already using data warehouses for aggregating and analyzing their data to see how to scrub, anonymize, and turn some or all of that data into Open Data sets which are fully accessible via APIs. Open Data made available from APIs in a data marketplace can potentially “generate new sources of revenue, spur innovation, increase transparency and improve brand equity”. It’s about “turning data into dollars”.
Open Data is defined by Wikipedia as data which is freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. Big Data is defined as a collection of data sets so large and complex that they’re awkward to work with using traditional database management tools.