Kevin Merritt (Socrata Inc.) at GovTech: “2014 was a pivotal year in the evolution of open data for one simple and powerful reason – it went mainstream and was widely adopted on just about every continent. Open data is now table stakes. Any government that is not participating in open data is behind its peers…The move toward data-driven government will absolutely accelerate between 2015 and 2020, thanks to three key trends.
1. Comparative Analytics for Government Employees
The first noteworthy trend that will drive open data change in 2015 is that open data technology offerings will deliver first-class benefits to public-sector employees. This means government employees will be able to derive enormous insights from their own data and act on them in a deep, meaningful and analytical way. Until only recently, the primary beneficiaries of open data initiatives were external stakeholders: developers and entrepreneurs; scientists, researchers, analysts, journalists and economists; and ordinary citizens lacking technical training. The open data movement, until now, has ignored an important class of stakeholders – government employees….
2. Increased Global Expansion for Open Data
The second major trend fueling data-driven government is that 2015 will be a year of accelerating adoption of open data internationally.
Right now, for example, open data is being adopted prolifically in Europe, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
We will continue to see international governments adopt open data in 2015 for a variety of reasons. Northern European governments, for instance, are interested in efficiency and performance right now; Southern European governments, on the other hand, are currently focused on transparency, trust, and credibility. Despite the different motivations, the open data technology solutions are the same. And, looking out beyond 2015, it’s important to note that Southern European governments will also adopt open data to help increase job creation and improve delivery of services.
3. “Open Data” Will Simply Become “Government Data”
The third trend that we’ll see in the arena of open data lies a little further out on the horizon, and it will be surprising. In my opinion, the term “open data” may disappear within a decade; and in its place will simply be the term “government data.”
That’s because virtually all government data will be open data by 2020; and government data will be everywhere it needs to be – available to the public as fast as it’s created, processed and accumulated….(More).”