Image by earthhopper via Flickr
I've been doing some work recently for IDeA on their ambitious and innovative 'Knowledge Hub' concept. During the course of talking to various local authorities, I came across the phenomenon of local activists taking 'open' local authority data and doing really innovative things by mashing it with readily accessible external data (eg Google Maps) and making it more relevant and accessible. A great example is Birmingham DIY
This got me wondering what might be achieved if creative, motivated and technically skilled staff in private sector organisations we let loose on their organisation's data, within the firewall, but outside of functional and organisational hierarchies. There is a degree of risk of course, but who knows what patterns and new insights might emerge for the organisation by looking at 'operational' data in a completely new way.