What is ‘open data’ and who needs it anyway?

B2B Editor15 February 2017

With information sharing a key underpinning for many businesses today and potentially the development of new businesses in the future, Canberra Business Chamber is seeking the views of the ACT business and wider community on how to position our region to capture the benefits of Open Data.

A discussion paper has been developed by the Chamber’s Innovation Taskforce to explore Open Data issues which can be addressed to provide opportunities for new businesses, economic growth and cost savings in both the public and private sectors.

“Our Taskforces are leading our work to achieve the goals outlined in our Destination 2030: A Vision for Canberra,” Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Robyn Hendry explained.

“The need to establish an industry and government standard to maintain Open Data sets was identified as a driver for the region’s development in the Destination 2030 roadmap. Our Taskforce felt it needed to start looking at this important topic without delay,” Innovation Taskforce Chair, Lyndal Thorburn said.

“The Taskforce’s work since then has identified additional issues that may need to be addressed. These include the terms on which open data is licensed from government, and industry awareness of the potential for open data to add to their business offerings.”

Open Data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone or as an input to create other value – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike. Access to Open Data provides opportunities for new products to deliver benefits to the public, business and government. Open Data can create new markers for products and services, enable benchmarking across a range of data sets and economic indicators, provide opportunities to better segment markets, enable decision-making to be automated or improved, and can improve transparency.

“In releasing this discussion paper today, we want to hear from businesses and the general community how we can make the ACT a leader in Open Data availability and accessibility,” Dr Thorburn said.

“We would welcome feedback on the role of government, the responsibility of industry and how greater use of open data sets might be encouraged.”

“Based on the feedback received, the Chamber will develop Open Data priorities it will pursue on behalf of Canberra business,” Ms Hendry committed.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in Open Data access to provide a submission and help us shape the future direction of data sharing and remove barriers to full realisation of the promise of Open Data.”

The Discussion Paper Your Open Data Opportunity: Ten Key Questions for the Canberra Community is now available at

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