Open Data, Predictive Analytics and Visualizations – A Game-Changer

By Jessica Colaço
  Published 25 Apr 2011
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To date the open data landscape has been largely defined by app competitions and hackathons, and while these things are good for the ecosystem, they cannot sustain it alone. This is precisely why I think we need to start thinking more aggressively about how government data could give rise to new service delivery models and how citizens can use this data to make better decisions. We have the skill-set and talent in Kenya to create these applications, but what we lack is the data. For instance, Kenyan Contestant Athman Ali won the Apps for Development Award for his app FactCha. Kenyan Contestant Athman Ali wins Apps for Development Award from World Bank on Vimeo. My point is that we should be using using quantitative methods (analytics) to derive insights from data, and then drawing on those insights to shape business decisions and ultimately, improve business performance. Thus open data, predictive analytics and visualizations is emerging as a game-changer in business world. Instead of looking backward to analyze “what happened?” predictive analytics helps management answer:
  • What is next?
  • What should we do about it?
Over the last one year, the World Bank has made tremendous progress in the open data initiative by opening its storehouse of data to the public and sharing data visualization tools with countries. The Kenyan government is working on a Bill that seeks to make data held by the government accessible to the public and only time will tell how soon this data will be available. In the mean time, what are we doing to be the game changers in this economy and country? For a start we can take a look at Gap Minder. Below are some useful links: Thinking about Africa's Open Data Developers take PS to task on Open Govt. Data
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