Open data adoption on the rise

Large and small businesses from across the UK are using open data for tasks such as flood zone monitoring and helping Britons find jobs

Open data has been adopted by large and small companies across every sector in the UK, according to research published this week by the Open Data Institute (ODI).

Identified by Startups.co.uk as one of the biggest tech trends of 2015, open data is defined as that which is freely available, and not subject to restrictions from copyright, patents or other forms of control.

The study, conducted with 270 small, medium and large firms, found that the majority  of business owners are using, producing or investing in open data as part of the daily running of their business.

Of the businesses using open data, 46% are from outside the information and communication sector including finance & insurance, science & technology, business administration & support, arts & entertainment, health, retail, transportation, education and energy.

Almost half (49%) of the respondents were based outside of London, with those that were in the capital spread out and not restricted to Tech City and Shoreditch.

70% of respondents used government open data, while 49% used other sources such as businesses, non-profits and community projects – and 39% a combination of the two.

Gavin Starks, ODI CEO, said: “Open data is a material resource for many UK companies regardless of their location, sector or size – and companies are both consuming and producing open data to create new products and services across major market segments.

“Our research also highlights how the UK can build on this success: there are many practical steps companies can take to exploit the opportunities of open data, but this must be supported by policy commitments to provide stable access to high-quality open data from the public sector.

“These commitments will give confidence to innovative companies to help them grow their economic impact.”

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