Innovative, cheap ways to use real-time data plus removing restrictions to it will help companies make better decisions, streamline and improve government, and empower the public, according to “Data Dynamite,” published today.
The book, subtitled “how data will transform our world,” was written by “data dude” W. David Stephenson, and published by Data4All Press. It is available in e-book and print versions.
The book draws parallels between a potential explosion in uses for data if it becomes accessible to everyone and if new tools make it easy to share and understand, and how publishing of new works bloomed after Luther translated the Bible into German so ordinary people could understand it and printed it rather than having monks copy it. Stephenson says legitimate reasons made it hard for government and companies to gather, process, and disseminate data in the past. Technology removed the barriers, but the old “data scarcity” mentality prevails on the part of management and must be ended.
The book calls for a 4-step process to liberate data:
- apply “tags” to it the first time it is entered, giving data meaning and context
- distribute it automatically and in real time, when it will be of most use
- make it available to everyone in an organization – and often outside it – who needs the data (rather than to just a few elites)
- provide new Web 2.0 tools letting non-technical users analyze and act on data collaboratively.
The book is aimed at senior managers in business and government and at the general public.
“Data Dynamite” details a wide range of pioneering examples of liberating data, including:
- online medical records
- an “Internet of Things” prescription jar that notifies your doctor when you take a pill
- a Mexican concrete company gaining competitive advantage by operating with real-time data,
- and an online patient community which shares information on their conditions to help drug companies find cures.
It also outlines principles of liberating data, describes characteristics of companies that liberate data, and concludes with a 13-point “Liberating Data Manifesto.” An entire chapter describes the innovative strategies U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra used while he was the District of Columbia CTO.
Stephenson is principal of Stephenson Strategies, Medfield, Ma, and has an international reputation as a consultant and thought leader in both data and Web 2.0 strategies, especially open data and disaster management strategies that empower the general public.