Dashboards and Open data

A dashboard works its magic harnessing the power of open data. That is particularly true with a city dashboard. If you take a close look at any urban dashboard, you’ll notice it brings to its users a variety of open datasets, from metro schedules, weather broadcasts to air pollution levels and highway cameras. This is data from assorted sources, such as government departments and transport agencies. Imagine such data not being public, the development of an eclectic dashboard would not be possible.

In fact, open data brings about much more than dashboards. Open data is data free for the public and all sectors to access and make use of, usually provided by authorities. Open data means opening up opportunities and possibilities as nowadays, it’s all about data.

The power of data comes not from data itself, but rather, the knowledge and value distilled from it. It may sound a bit off but when you come to think of it, it’s just the case: data matters as much as the value it inspires the users. In other words, the importance of data depends on how you use it; if no meaning is extracted from the data, it remains little more than numbers.

When authorities open up an assortment of data, the public and private sectors are free to bestow meaning and value on the data, which in better cases inspire innovations and inventions. Such innovations may come in the forms of online and mobile applications, such as warning systems for flooding and air pollution, making use of open data from water gauges and the observatory. These are practices of turning raw open data into actionable knowledge, which comes to be used through mobile apps, online portals and obviously, dashboards.

That is why such applications as online portals, mobile applications and dashboards use the data to serve a purpose, cater to a need and accommodate different users. While a city dashboard harnesses the power of open data to serve at-a-glance information reviews to its users, open data users cash in on the presentation of a dashboard to make sense of open data itself. Interesting? Let’s explore dashboards and data visualisation next week!

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