Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Moving from Open Source to Open Data

Ars Technica has this story about Insight, a new open community data analysis project started by Business Objects. Insight seeks to create a community focussed on specific challenges which bring expertise together with openly available data sets to create analysis of those data sets for many different purposes.

There are collaborative projects for code, but no equivalent for data. We're hoping to combine data sources, analysis, visualization, and more.

This reminds me a little bit of (one of) the premise behind Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End.

We already collect and share massive amounts of data (see the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics for an excellent example). Today the analysis of this data occurs in isolated projects for isolated goals. Vinge, and now Business Objects, describes a world where the analysis also becomes a massively distributed, but shared, process.

Here's a little quote to live by from Franz Aman, an exec at Business Objects:
We are a commercial business, but we also believe in helping nonprofits and charities where we can. We believe in doing well by doing good.


Susan said...

What a Googley thing to say. :-)

Anonymous said...

It's marketing bumph. This "community" site has no users, no exchange of ideas, and not new content since June. Nearly all the postings - what few there are - have been done by BOBJ employees.

It's not a community site, it's a bad marketing site.

Jennifer said...

I would agree. doesn't give much insight - looks like a pitch to push Crystal Xcelsius software.