Heard of Data Democratization? Well, you might not want to dismiss it as another of the fancy terms geeks keep inventing. It is here to stay and is expanding as you read this post.
Data Democratization was a term invented to signify the opening up of huge datasets owned by corporations and governments and making the data available to the general public. The public could leverage this data via apps, thesis reports and help contribute to improving the quality of the data and also help bring innovative services that the rest of the public could make use of. The benefits of opening up of data or "democratizing data" is evident at GapMinder where professor Hans Rosling has used world data made available to general public by United Nations and sister concerns to provide interactive charts that help reveal interesting trends
In this age of tablets, smartphone that have made information at fingertips a reality, the power of harnessing the collective mind of the crowd can pay rich dividends to whoever decides to make their data sets available for public consumption and contribution. US has been on the forefront of this wave and have till date democratized 22 data sets.
Here comes the exciting part. Indian government too has bitten the bullet with the opening up of their new website Data.gov.in. Still in its infancy, the government has already uploaded sample datasets from the MNREGA, AICTE,National Transport Registry and even list of Allopathic hospitals across the nation. It also has a sample app of the Bhuvan project, ISRO's attempt at providing something similar to Google maps.
What remains to be seen is how this data will start getting consumed. Akin to how BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) has democratized data which helps Google provide transit services app for Bangaloreans or akin to how Climate Corporation in USA analyses land and weather data made available to public by the US government to decide the insurance premium payable by farmers based on their locations.
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