The following guest post is by Yulia Tammisto, from the Open Service Innovation Observatory at the Aalto University School of Economics, Finland.

A few months ago, myself and my colleague Dr. Juho Lindman at the Aalto University School of Economics started to explore open data academically. We are particularly interested in the business applications and economic potential of open data. So far we have done a small round of interviews in Finland with business and non-profit sector employees, and have written a couple of conference papers about the results. Interestingly, we found out that open data seemed to have a lot in common with open source from a research perspective. Now we are trying to interpret and use these similarities to better understand the phenomenon of open data and the interplay between these two concepts. We looked into open data-related services offered on the Finnish market, and tried to understand how open data-related service providers operate in order to draw a generic business model. In this process, we came to the understanding that there is no common meaning of open data shared by the different players on the market. We tried to embrace the various perceptions, and build some classification of existing meanings that industry assigns to the term “open data”.

In the future we plan to focus on developing a better understanding of what open data is in a business context and for business users, exploring the economic benefits of open data application and new business models based on open data.

None of our papers are published yet (as it takes quite a while in academia), but I am happy to share and discuss our research – just drop me a line at yulia.tammisto[at]aalto[dot]fi

It would be particularly interesting to hear about similar academic studies or projects – maybe we could join forces and make something great together!

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