The Exciting $3 Trillion Promise of Open Data

The world is awash in data that’s in the public domain but mostly goes to waste. Making better use of open data from the government and private sources could create $3 trillion of value worldwide in just seven industry sectors, according to a study released today by McKinsey & Co., the consulting firm.

McKinsey’s best case in point is data.gov, a website launched by the Obama administration in 2009 that has 91,054 data sets. Currently featured on the home page are baby names since 1879, a national bridge inventory, damage estimates from Hurricane Sandy, credit card complaints, and typical charges for inpatient and outpatient services.

This year 102 cities participated in the International Open Data Hackathon Day, held on Feb. 23. The mission was to “write applications, liberate data, create visualizations, and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world’s local, regional, and national governments.”

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