There is more access to free online content than ever before with things like free software and free education. Now, a new trend in digital transformations is emerging that offers free data. Let’s examine where we’re coming from and where we’re going with massively open online data (MOOD).
First There Was Massive Open Online Software (MOOS)
During 1980s, the General Public License (GNU) project started the open source movement defining the term “free software”. With that came great open source products such as Linux and Netscape Navigator. Then in 2000s, the developers of the kernel started an open source code repository called git with which the developers started sharing contents and findings. In addition, the Mozilla open source foundation provided a browser that developers started to contribute. Nowadays, every major company offers a chance for developers to contribute to their community including Google, Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM. This started the term massive open online software (MOOS).
Then Came MOOC: Massive Open Online Courses
Then came massive open online courses (MOOC), which are free online courses available for anyone to enroll including eDX, Khan Academy, and some Coursera and Udemy courses. Universities such as MIT, Harvard, Caltech, and UT Austin started offering free courses for students to pursue. Additionally, this opened up free e-Books, affordable Master’s programs, and other learning venues for career development.
MOOD (Massively Open Online Data):The New Digital Trend
The new trend of digital transformation includes massively open online data (MOOD). There are several examples of how MOOD is changing the digital landscape. The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international, collaborative research program whose goal was to understand and map genes of all humans collectively called “genome”. The FBI crime statistics provides data received from more than 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the program. U. S. Food & Drug Administration provides a database full of approved drugs and their therapeutic areas. In addition, there are World Bank Data, data about movies, environmental health, economics, and many more free data sources.
The idea of MOOD is even affecting how we use medical data. Eric Topol, author of “The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands” coined the term MOOM: massively open online medicine. Great customer experience and personalized treatment starts by analyzing data around an individual and personalizing products and services around that individual’s needs.
Take Advantage of Free Data
With so much free data available, as an organization, you should learn to use these data sets as an analyst within your analysis. These data sets can provide benchmarking, real world data sets which can provide competitive advantage if used within the context of your organizational data. Think about a sales department in your organization selling retail products taking into consideration product shelf-life and stocking products as the weather demands, or a crime fighting organization getting Human Rights information and CIA data sets, or Healthcare organization using Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) data set to identify issues by demographics. MOOD is very important and provides competitive advantage. However, open data sets should be used responsibly and should be governed and data quality’d well before using it for decision making.
At some point, there may be a disclaimer about your status update in Facebook or health information collected about you available on public websites. Your publicly available data can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to contest it or prove it wrong as appropriate.
IT’S YOUR DATA AND YOUR PROPERTY. SO OWN IT!