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Could Governments Run Out of Patience with Open Data?

Gartner - Andrea Di Maio  Yesterday I had yet another client conversation – this time with a mid-size municipality in the north of Europe – on the topic  of the economic value generated through open data. The problem we discussed is the same I highlighted in a post last year: nobody argues the potential long term value of open data but it may be difficult to maintain a momentum (and to spend time, money and management bandwidth) on something that will come to fruition in the more distant future, while more urgent problems need to be solved now, under growing budget constraints.

Faith is not enough, nor are the many examples that open data evangelists keep sharing to demonstrate value. Open data must help solve today’s problems too, in order to gain the credibility and the support required to realize future economic value.

While many agree that open data can contribute to shorter term goals, such as improving inter-agency transparency and data exchange or engaging citizens on solving concrete problems, making this happen in a more systematic way requires  a change of emphasis and a change of leadership.