Who needs big dataLaura Hakvoort and I were on a national meeting on Energy and Open Data, organized by the Social Economic Council. We presented our Energy Atlas and showed the way the data will be downloadable from a website. Just push the button “Open GEO-Data”. Other organisations showed their work as well.

It did not take long to conclude that – even though we live in a small country – there is an enormous amount of BIG DATA available. Not very surprising: no one has the overview and – more stunning – no one actually knows who will use the data and what for. Only the grid company LIANDER told that someone actually used the data and made an app for the mobile phone. With the app it is possible to see the actual energy use of new build houses in contrast to the expected use where is paid for.

So, this raises an interesting topic. As “Data => Knowledge” and “Knowledge = Power”, what will be the consequences of Open Data in the field of Energy? Who will be winners and who will be losers? The ones who make the data and offer them for free, are the ones paying for them. This does not necessarily mean they are benefitting themselves from opening up the data. Actually, the chance is big that they are not even influenced by them. Mostly they are government agencies and grid companies. In the case of ‘Lianders’ app: the consumer is benefitting, while the electricity producer will be facing complaints.

But does the potential beneficiary of open data actually know that somewhere on the web there is data, that can be useful, if they are processed in the right way? And will it be the effort to invest in it? Who needs the big data? And does the data make it to there?

Read more about data sharing and TRANSFORM

Geert den Boogert
Urban Designer
City of Amsterdam

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