Infomediary Business Models for Connecting Open Data Providers and Users

Paper by Marijn Janssen and Anneke Zuiderwijk in Social Science Computer Review: “Many public organizations are opening their data to the general public and embracing social media in order to stimulate innovation. These developments have resulted in the rise of new, infomediary business models, positioned between open data providers and users. Yet the variation among types of infomediary business models is little understood. The aim of this article is to contribute to the understanding of the diversity of existing infomediary business models that are driven by open data and social media. Cases presenting different modes of open data utilization in the Netherlands are investigated and compared. Six types of business models are identified: single-purpose apps, interactive apps, information aggregators, comparison models, open data repositories, and service platforms. The investigated cases differ in their levels of access to raw data and in how much they stimulate dialogue between different stakeholders involved in open data publication and use. Apps often are easy to use and provide predefined views on data, whereas service platforms provide comprehensive functionality but are more difficult to use. In the various business models, social media is sometimes used for rating and discussion purposes, but it is rarely used for stimulating dialogue or as input to policy making. Hybrid business models were identified in which both public and private organizations contribute to value creation. Distinguishing between different types of open data users was found to be critical in explaining different business models.”