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Using Open Source Data

We talk about “your data” on this web site, but "your data" is more than what you keep on your servers, or what lives in spreadsheet files on the desktops in your office. “Your data” is everything you can access, and this includes open source data such as: 

  • Census data,
  • Genomic databases, 
  • Macroeconomic databases, 
  • Social network data,
  • Overhead imagery,
  • CIA Factbook data,
  • Department of Labor statistics,
  • United Nations data,
  • Wolfram Alpha,
  • Web queries,
  • Data from the Open Data Initiative,
  • Etc.

Most of this wasn't easily available ten or even five years ago. Today it's routine, and when combined with the private data on your server, affords profound opportunities to make sense of your enterprise, and draw insights that let you more effectively adapt your enterprise to evolving conditions. In the example at the right, we show employment trends in Greece vice Italy, in the face of government austerity measures. This data is available with a simple web query (plotted here with R). If you were planning a new plant in Southern Italy, this data, when combined with your sales history, would allow you to make better informed decisions.

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