Looking Towards and Beyond the Summit: OpenDataBC

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The Canadian Open Data Summit (CODS) is a collaborative effort organised with the help and support of open data leaders and organisations from across Canada. We’ve asked some of our partners to tell us why open data matters, what hopes they have for the Summit, and how they wish the community to grow after the event on May 25.

This week, we share the answers of Herb Lainchbury, President of OpenDataBC, the organisation that originated the Canadian Open Data Summit in Vancouver in 2013.

Why does open data matter?

Open data matters because it is one of the best, most efficient ways to realize value from an organizations data assets. Data is increasingly being recognized as the new natural resource of the twenty first century. Organizations that successfully locate, extract and refine the resource will be able to create value. This value will come in many forms including reduced cost, increased market intelligence, increased ability to make robust decisions and new insights leading to increased capacity to leverage emerging technologies.

On the other hand, data is only as valuable as the results it helps to achieve. Said another way, it’s when data is used that the value gets created. And, like a natural resource, when that data is extracted and refined and its quality improved, it becomes more valuable for users. Data that is made open has a dramatically better chance of having that value realized.

What are your hopes for the Summit?

My hopes for CODS15 is that it brings the Canadian Open Data together and inspires us to reach further and create new goals for Canada’s open data community. I truly believe that Canada is ideally suited to become the Open Data leaders of the world. We have the technical know-how, a strong vibrant community and leaders with courage that are on board with realizing the value of Open Data. There no reason in my mind why we can’t be #1 in open government data, open corporate data and open community data.

How would you like to see the open data community grow?

My desired outcomes are that the community continues to engage and begins to focus on more specific efforts like the Canadian Open Data Summit and other events that bring people together. I would also like to see us use this chance to talk about artifacts that we could create, such as online community supported collaborative spaces, and community generated standards and best practices. We’re lucky in Canada to have so many people from across our country participating in the open data movement. I would like to see us find ways to support these communities in an ongoing way.

About the Canadian Open Data Summit 2015

We’ve announced a first series of international and Canadian speakers on the Canadian Open Data Summit website, where you can also consult the schedule.

Don’t forget to register today to get the early-bird price (until March 13)!

We invite you to nominate an individual or organization to receive the Canadian Open Data Award at the Summit.

Please help us promote the Summit to your colleagues, friends, and local open data community, whether through a local tech or community mailing list, blog post, Twitter or Facebook.

Follow us at @opennorth on Twitter for regular updates!

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