Understanding Data Sharing — What does ‘Open’ mean?
There is a lot of confusion about what the word ‘open’ means in relation to data, software, research, modelling (e.g. AI), analysis, markets and standards.
On this slide we show a number of different initiatives that are open, we detail some of the roles that they operate around, and how open applies to their approach.
For example, Cambridge Zero, as a research institution, aggregates data, creates and uses software and models to carry out research and analysis. Commercial vendor, Planet, produces data from its satellites on earth observation and makes both data and analysis available to the market on an open or a paid basis. Oasis LMF and OS Climate provide modelling and software under an open license, similar to many open-source software projects.
Commercial vendor, Planet, produces data from its satellites on earth observation and makes both data and analysis available to the market on an open or a paid basis. Oasis LMF and OS Climate provide modelling and software under an open license, similar to many open-source software projects.
At Icebreaker One we don’t hold any data. We don’t develop software for big data, and we’re not carrying out climate or risk modelling. Instead, we provide standards for good data governance and interoperability. When we talk about Open Standards we mean that the standards themselves are open; the policies are open. All research and other related outputs that help create an open marketplace are licensed under an open license agreement.
When it comes to the data an Open Standard can also enable regulators and industry stakeholders to mandate the delivery of open data, based on needs. For example, in Open Banking the Standard mandates that product information is made available as machine-readable, open data for use by anyone for free.
Equally, it mandates that confidential information, such as a bank statement, cannot be open data. Instead, that data must be made available to trusted third parties using open API technologies, within a trusted network. The open banking standard creates and manages the implementation of rules by which the whole market can operate safely and securely, through Shared principles and practice.
At Icebreaker One we are building an open governance platform that can underpin trust networks — enabling industry and regulators to define both the data and the rules, which will enable markets to flourish.
Therefore, an Open Standard:
- opens up the market around shared principles and practices;
- enables open interoperability and cohesion across ecosystems;
- is itself licensed openly (e.g. CC-BY, MIT or equivalent): covering words, code and data;
- can help create a voluntary or mandatory requirement for open data publishing of specific data that should be public and free;
- can help create a voluntary or mandatory requirement for open access to shared data for private and confidential data;
- can help create a voluntary or mandatory requirement for open APIs as a shared and common technical implementation to sharing easier;
- addresses sector-wide or cross-sector challenges.
To work out how to decide, see the following post