by Angela Guess
Alexander Howard has written an article for Slate.com regarding Big Data, open data, and the "data economy." He writes, "We're living in the exabyte age, where the actions of billions of humans using the Web and their mobile devices are creating massive amounts of big data to collect, store, analyze, and put to work. If big data is a strategic resource, as has been suggested, then many national and state governments have public reserves that can be tapped for the public good in this young century's version of the industrial revolution. Given that the United States economy is still coming out of the worst recession and financial shock since the Great Depression, supporting civic and tech entrepreneurs enjoys political support from both sides of the aisle."
He goes on, "My publisher, long-time open source and open government advocate Tim O'Reilly, has asked how government can act as a platform to enable people inside and outside government to innovate on top of it. One answer is certainly releasing open data. In that context, open data and application programming interfaces, more commonly known as APIs, increasingly look like fundamental infrastructure for digital government in the 21st century. There's good reason to think that open data could have an overall effect on the economy akin to open source and small business. Gartner, the IT research analysis firm, recently highlighted how open data creates value in the public and private sector."