Open Data Tools: Turning Data into ‘Actionable Intelligence’

Shannon Bohle in SciLogs: “My previous two articles were on open access and open data. They conveyed major changes that are underway around the globe in the methods by which scientific and medical research findings and data sets are circulated among researchers and disseminated to the public. I showed how E-science and ‘big data’ fit into the philosophy of science though a paradigm shift as a trilogy of approaches: deductive, empirical, and computational, which was pointed out, provides a logical extenuation of Robert Boyle’s tradition of scientific inquiry involving “skepticism, transparency, and reproducibility for independent verification” to the computational age…
This third article on open access and open data evaluates new and suggested tools when it comes to making the most of the open access and open data OSTP mandates. According to an article published in The Harvard Business Review’s “HBR Blog Network,” this is because, as its title suggests, “open data has  little value if people can’t use it.” Indeed, “the goal is for this data to become actionable intelligence: a launchpad for investigation, analysis, triangulation, and improved decision making at all levels.” Librarians and archivists have key roles to play in not only storing data, but packaging it for proper accessibility and use, including adding descriptive metadata and linking to existing tools or designing new ones for their users. Later, in a comment following the article, the author, Craig Hammer, remarks on the importance of archivists and international standards, “Certified archivists have always been important, but their skillset is crucially in demand now, as more and more data are becoming available. Accessibility—in the knowledge management sense—must be on par with digestibility / ‘data literacy’ as priorities for continuing open data ecosystem development. The good news is that several governments and multilaterals (in consultation with data scientists and – yep! – certified archivists) are having continuing ‘shared metadata’ conversations, toward the possible development of harmonized data standards…If these folks get this right, there’s a real shot of (eventual proliferation of) interoperability (i.e. a data platform from Country A can ‘talk to’ a data platform from Country B), which is the only way any of this will make sense at the macro level.”

One Reply to “Open Data Tools: Turning Data into ‘Actionable Intelligence’”

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