'Open Data 500' releases initial results

The first results from a study examining the use of government data sets by private sector organisations have been released

Many of the Australian businesses and not-for-profit organisations using data sets released by the government are employing open data to create new or improved products and services, according to the initial results of the Open Data 500 study.

The government earlier this year launched Open Data 500: A collaboration between New York University's GovLab and the Department of Communications.

The study is intended to guide the government in its efforts to add further data sets to its data.gov.au open data portal.

So far 64 organisations have participated in the Open Data 500 study.

Sixty five per cent of them indicated they were using open data to create new or improved products and services, 55 per cent to generate cost efficiencies, and 51 per cent to identify new opportunities.

Geospatial data was the most popular kind of government data employed by participants in the study. Sixty per cent of participants indicated they were using government geospatial data sets.

Other popular categories were environmental data (used by 49 per cent of participants); demographics and social data (45 per cent) and positioning/GPS data (42 per cent).

"The biggest challenges in using open data were related to access, accuracy and level of detail of the data," the report states.

The Open Data 500 survey will remain open and accepting new participants in order to further build an online catalogue of open data use cases, the Department of Communications said.

The initial results of the study are available from data.gov.au as a CSV file.

Data.gov.au currently houses some 7100 open data sets.

Follow Rohan on Twitter: @rohan_p

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