Business has a lot to learn from the open data movement. I like the way people in open data often get to the heart of the issues about data. They seem less hung up with the history of data processing and less constrained by familiarity with the big tech vendors. When people talk about “digital natives”, it's often just another way of saying “those young folks”. But the voices in the open data movement come from all generations. These are people who are interested in information ahead of information technology.
Here's a nice example of the kind of clarity I mean. David Bolton says: “Making data available is one thing. Making it useful is quite another.” It ought to be obvious, right? And the more people we have pointing it out, the more accepted it will be.
Bolton also says that open data isn't really new. It's just data, and we've been dealing with data forever. The difference is the volume. We have lots of data now, and the volume is growing. But the principles and techniques for managing data don't fundamentally change just because you have lots more of it.
This is refreshing. It may not be as much fun as talking about paradigm shifts and game-changers, but the keys to successful data exploitation lie in clear vision, a focus on meaning, and good management practices.