Open Data is discussed in many contexts, ranging from transparency, government accountability, and their economical benefits.

Are there up-to-date studies and publications analyzing the real and expected value for the various economic sectors (manufacturing, agriculture, services, and so on)?

A related point is whether an "aggregator" of case studies and best practices about significative applications (from a socio-economical point of view) is available, from global to regional scale.

  • 1
    An anecdote is no evidence, but this nicely demonstrates how NY City saw its parking fines revenues go down substantially thanks to their open data: ted.com/talks/…
    – user4293
    May 18, 2015 at 14:53

7 Answers 7


There are several studies on the economical impact of Open Data. The most recent I know of is a study done in 2011 on data held by all public bodies in the European Union called Review of Recent PSI Re-Use Studies Published [docx] (PSI stands for Public Sector Information), the study is also know as the Vickery study. One of its main findings is that the EU's current usage of PSI results in €30 billion of economic activity and that opening up more PSI could increase this to €70 billion.

Mentioned in the Vickery study are amongst others:


One of the latest published reviews / reports (a few days ago) is the Shakespeare review which contains a chapter on evidence page 20pp: "...This figure comprises direct economic benefits estimated at around £1.8bn, and a wider social value of PSI conservatively estimated in excess of £5bn..."

There are various comments on this report online from Guardian over okfn.org to personal comments (search Twitter for open data or PSI)

Another more recent report is: European Public Sector Information Platform -Topic Report No.2012/02 Open Data in Development Aid It provides a Cost–Benefit Analysis for IATI on page 11: (Estimates for all IATI signatories US$)

  • Expected one-time costs: 8 million
  • Expected annual savings through improved reporting mechanisms: 7 million
  • Expected annual savings through reduced corruption and increased predictability 1,6 billion
  • Expected numbers are meaningless without estimates of errors. May 23, 2013 at 9:49

This wiki page from linkedgov.org, The economic impact of open data is:

...collecting case studies and references to the economic impact of open data.

The World Bank Knowledge Repository also has a collection of economic impact studies in the "How would my country benefit from Open Data?" section.


Open Data Barometer recently published this:


also, the open data working group under the Open Government Partnership will be looking at impact: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/groups/opendata/


Yes there is- I was part of a small review with Code for America folks of the McKinsey report looking at global value of open data- it's now published here: Open data: Unlocking innovation and performance with liquid information


The US National Academies has a 2009 report The Socioeconomic Effects of Public Sector Information on Digital Networks: Toward a Better Understanding of Different Access and Reuse Policies: Workshop Summary. Look for the 'Download Free PDF' button, not the 'Add to Cart' button.

... and to take the other side, in John L King's wrap-up** to the data portion of the US National Academy's hearing last week on public access to federally-supported research and development, he brought up that much of the argument for opening data is economic, but most people have no idea what the actual costs of opening the data would be. He also brought up that the 1998 Shelby Amendment, allowing for FOIA to get to data was put in to allow for more transparency ... but that corporations have used it to refute science & other political activities.

** Note : I've had problems accessing the videos in all browsers; King should be the last video in the list, but Safari for Mac shows Jillian Wallis, and some versions of Firefox show no list at all. Chrome for Mac worked for me.


sunlight foundation just published their report highlighting 100 cases of social impact, which can be picked through to find economic benefits http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2015/05/05/a-new-approach-to-measuring-the-impact-of-open-data/

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