The Need for Open, Linked Government Data

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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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.