A Public Sector briefing from Microsoft and KPMG

A world of data and possibilities

Governments and public sector bodies are facing some of the most pressing issues in recent history. From global challenges like COVID-19 to local initiatives for economic development, open data is becoming a critical factor in driving positive societal outcomes.

In 2020, the power of open data was highlighted by the efforts of Johns Hopkins University, which brought together diverse datasets to visualize the global impact of COVID-19. Beyond retrospective reporting, there are now growing calls to make critical healthcare data more accessible, so agencies and governments can pre-empt future outbreaks and inform policy decisions that mitigate their impact.1

Across Africa, projects such as Code for Ghana2 and Seedi3 are creating transparent open data ecosystems that empower citizens to track government services and provide accountability for decisions and spending. Meanwhile, in the Middle East and North Africa, organizations are using open data to work on issues such as election monitoring, social justice, local economic development, and geospatial mapping.4

An open approach to data: the concept of making information freely available, accessible, and re-usable

There are typically two approaches to being open with data:

  • Open Data – where datasets are made available online for anyone to access, often to promote governmental transparency
  • Shared Data – where datasets are shared between agencies (but not publicly), requiring governance and policies to control access

  1. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2020/11/02/to-mitigate-the-costs-of-future[1]pandemics-establish-a-common-data-space/
  2. https://www.europeandataportal.eu/sites/default/files/use-cases/ghana_-_code.pdf
  3. https://www.europeandataportal.eu/sites/default/files/use-cases/nigeria_-_seedi_msme_asi.pdf
  4. https://www.opendataimpactmap.org/mna