Written by Philippe Roesle, Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom
The availability and accessibility of data is by no means an end-point; in fact, it is only the beginning. If data strives to offer an added value to prospective end-users, it must be sorted, analysed, visualised and fully interpreted. The availability of various types of data constitutes a very fertile playing field for nascent startup companies. In order to support the exploitation of big and open data, the UK’s national innovation agency, Innovate UK (together with the Omidyar Network), has invested in an interesting non-profit organisation: the Open Data Institute (ODI). Unique in many ways, the ODI not only advocates the release of more public and private sector data as open datasets, it also actively supports the creation of value with a view to achieve social, environmental, and economic impact. For this, the ODI has built a centre of excellence for open data in the fields of research, learning, advocacy, consulting, and startup incubation.