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The Need for Open, Linked Government Data

March 24th, 2011 · 4 Comments

I have written about the need for “Open Data, Open Government” earlier. One example of the impossibility of analysing data is the Economic Survey and Budget data, available here.

The good thing is that the information is available as PDF and in the applicable cases, XLS. But the problem is that the XLS files are all separate. It is hard to see the linkages. So, if I wanted to actually see where the government’s Rs 5 lakh crore in social services is being spent, it is almost impossible.

That is what needs to be changed. The data files that need to be made available should show the linkages between data, rather than showing them basically as tables and columns in XLS, which do not lend themselves to any sort of analysis. How can we dig deep into the government data to understand the specific expenditure heads?

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 StatSpotting // Mar 24, 2011 at 9:34 am

    There is some potential for an intermediary there, one who can answer these questions (something like a factchecker). but the issue here is, all conclusions would be debatable and hence disputed.

  • 2 aj // Mar 24, 2011 at 10:21 am

    the open data movement in India has not really started. there are a few organizations trying to do a little but a broad movement is non existent.

  • 3 Akshar // Mar 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm


    Do you see any start-up opportunities in this space ?

  • 4 Ram // Mar 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    If there is any political party that declares open-data on its agenda I am going to vote for it.

    I do not expect all the data to be available from day 1
    We should start in chunks
    For eg
    Let BMC just make its road repair budget spendings public. So we know which contractor has been paid how much and relatively judge who has done a good job vs a bad one.

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