More data does not mean better data
In a review of government open data initiatives David Buxton, CEO of Arachnys, makes a good point that although more and more governments are making their data available online (World map of open government data initiatives) simply having open access to such data doesn’t necessarily mean that the data will be better; there are no assurances that the data will more accurate, current, useful or even relevant. He does however point to the growing evidence that opening up access to data is generally having a positive influence and cites the success of an initiative in Mauritius to map land ownership across the entire country, the results of which have been a decrease in land grabs and better public scrutiny.
Added these government initiatives, the sheer volume of data that is increasingly being collected and made available via the various resources we have discussed in earlier posts (Internet of Things/Everything, UAVs ( unmanned aerial vehicles) and crowd sourcing) means that it is all the more important for data analysts and end users to understand the provenance, quality and relevance of the data. With increasing choice of data to work with, comes increasing responsibility to make sure it’s the appropriate data for any given application.