May 30, 2019
Open Data: Does your Business need extra Superpower?
Open Data initiatives are launched by over 250 governments at national, subnational and city levels alongside the organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank*
*According to the World Bank
Data-Driven Decision Making (DDDM)
Every business produces large volumes of data. Companies analyze huge amounts of information to understand workflows better and to have a higher quality of work. And they use data-driven decision making to perform better.
Raw unstructured data cannot tell the whole story. In order to understand what’s happening and get insights, we need to put the data in context. And to get a more complete story, we compare data sets. To obtain more insights, more creative ideas and a wider context, businesses often analyze open government data together with their own internal data.
What Do We Need Open Data For?
Open data can be used and shared by everybody. Governments publish their data massives and you can freely access all the information. What can we use open data business models for? Combining businesses’ and governmental data is a viable instrument to solve organizational challenges and identify new correlations and trends. Companies use open data for business to explore markets, identify opportunities, and to create new products and quality services.
In general, it works in the following way. You set up the question and hypothesis, then search for relevant datasets, analyze them, get insights, and include the outcomes into your business strategy. This data-driven approach helps companies to increase revenue, reduce costs, understand their market and competitors better, learn more about customers and create an exceptional user experience for them.
There are a lot of portals with free for use data (CKAN, DKAN, DataHub, etc.); among them, is Socrata. It’s provided by a software company from Seattle, which helps governments publish their data online, to be used and understood freely. The Socrata platform can store structured or unstructured operational, geospatial, financial and performance data.
Here Are Some Examples of How Open Data For Business Works
CVS Health has an online tool myhealthfinder. It uses government health data to design personalized recommendations for preventive healthcare services, based on age and gender.
Starbucks owns a business intelligence system called Atlas. It uses demographics, weather and proprietary sales data to develop consumer marketing strategies. For example, depending on the number of local smartphone users, Starbucks measures where mobile app discounts will be the most successful. Also, Starbucks synchronizes Frappuccino promotions with the rising air temperatures.
Our Case: Interactive Visualization For a US Real Estate Business
Data scientists at CoreValue utilized government data to build a mechanism that sorts the database and extracts the specifically needed information.
One of our clients needed to track specific kinds of job applications for construction work, that appear in New York.
In the USA, this kind of data is open and stored in the online government database. When you need to get the walls painted, to get a new fence, etc., you put in a job application online, with your address and the type of work you need.
We empirically investigated and collected the data from the government website. The process of gathering the data took the team approximately two weeks. Every day we took about 20,000 relevant job applications from the government source and placed them into our application’s base. Then, we chose all the applications for construction work with a specific status, because the service also contains applications that are already done, invalid ones, and so on. We chose the ones with the status we needed – relevant, ready to proceed, licensed, etc. Those were our filters.
We marked the application’s status and location for our client, to see how many and what kind of jobs appeared during the day, in different areas. We accumulated all the active job applications and calculated their differences. Now the client can identify newly appeared jobs and use this to analyze the market.
As a result, we made an interactive infographic map of New York with job applications. This map is designed to reflect the active jobs in сells. The сell size varies according to their quantity. The actual job applications are marked as red hexagons and the new jobs that arise are marked as blue circles, accenting their location. You can expand the job file in the number list. The map has a days tab and you can choose the day you want and see the amount and type of job applications that appear in a specific house on a specific day.
You can see the dynamics by city areas, and analyze the already sorted and relevant job applications.
One more crucial function of our map was the ability to get grouped job applications counted by BINs. BIN is a Building Identification Number. In New York, each house has its own unique BIN.
We copied the government data to the storage. Now you can enter a BIN, choose a house and see the licenses, job applications, data and its status. This is a user-driven operation. The system is extracting property data, relevant job applications and their work permits. We see this data on the screen in the text and in the raw JSON formats.
Our R&D department Coresearch conducted research and designed a demo application, a POC. Data Science team built interactive visualization of the New York map with two main functions. The designed solution meets particular client’s needs to easily and quickly analyze job applications and get useful insights for more valuable business outcomes.
This is one of the countless examples of open data for business as an actual instrument for analytics and consequently for ROI generation.