Open Data: Going Beyond Solving Problems to Making the Impossible Possible

at the Huffington Post: “As a global community, we are producing data at an astounding rate. The pace was recently described as a “new Google every four days” by the highly respected Andreesen Horowitz partner, Peter Levine, in a thought-provoking post addressing the challenge of making sense of this mountain of data.

“… we are now collecting more data each day, so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. In fact, every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — by some estimates that’s one new Google every four days, and the rate is only increasing. Our desire to use, interact, and learn from this data will become increasingly important and strategic to businesses and society as a whole.”

For the past year and a half, my cofounders and team have focused on what it will take to use, interact and learn from data being produced within the civic sector. It’s one thing to be able to build an app for civic; it’s quite another to build a platform that can manage multiple apps across multiple platforms while addressing the challenges plaguing the “wild west” nature of growth in the quickly emerging market of open data. I was recently invited to share our lessons learned and the promise of the future in mobile open data at the TEDxABQ Technology Salon. Here is a bit of what I shared:
Beyond Solving Problems to New Possibilities
When we first looked at the opportunities for creating apps built on open data, our priority was finding pain points for both cities and the people who lived there. We focused on solving real problems, and it led to some early success. We worked with the City of Albuquerque to deploy their ABQ RIDE app on iOS and Android platforms, and the app not only solved real problems for riders, it also saved real money for the city. The app has grown to over 20,000 regular users and continues to be one of the highest downloaded apps on our platform.
But recently, we’ve started asking questions that go beyond the basic, that change the experience or make things possible in ways that never were before. Here are two I’m incredibly proud to be a part of…”