sharing big data: let it be complicated.

linnet taylor

I’m at the Internet Governance Forum 2013 in Bali this week, which kicked off this morning with a discussion on ‘Growth and user empowerment through data commons’ The panel was myself, Alan Paul of the World Economic Forum, and Amparo Ballivian of the World Bank’s Open Data initiative. The panel addressed the issue of how big data and open data could be important in different types of country, at different national income levels. The headings ‘growth and user empowerment’ do not necessarily belong together, and in fact may be specifically in conflict, so it wasn’t surprising that the panel addressed them separately. We discussed how big data was currently contributing to low and middle income countries’ development (answer: not hugely, but there is great potential to digitise huge mounds of locally collected and stored written data and use it to complement, fill out or replace national statistics on issues such…

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