A roundup this week's data coverage, events, papers, and more:
- UK think tank Policy Exchange released a report on the value of data in the public sector titled "The Big Data Opportunity: Making government faster, smarter and more personal." In the report, author Chris Yiu argues that huge savings lie within massive amounts of data. He writes:
At a macro level, there is scope to improve the overall efficiency of government operations, to accelerate efforts to reduce fraud and error, and to make further inroads into the tax gap (the difference between actual tax collected and theoretical liabilities). We estimate that achieving cutting-edge performance could in time save the public sector up to £16 billion to £33 billion a year—equivalent to £250 to £500 per head of the population.
- On Tuesday, Oracle released "Big data, Bigger opportunities" (account required for download), the first in a series of reports on the smart grid. Oracle's findings are based on a survey of "151 North American senior-level executives at utilities with smart meter programs in place." Findings show that "45 percent of utilities still struggle to report information to business managers as fast as they need it and 50 percent miss opportunities to deliver useful information to customers." [Forbes coverage here.]
- The WorldBank Open Data Initiative teamed up with Data.gov and the Open Development Technology Alliance to host the second International Open Government Data Conference in Washington, DC. The event brought together 400 attendees from around the world to address the opportunities and challenges of opening public sector information. The WorldBank liveblogged the event's technical track and has already posted several keynotes to their site. Additional video from the conference will be available on Data.gov next week.
- David McQueeney, IBM's head of Software Research, sat down with CNBC to discuss the untapped potential that lies within piles of unstructured data companies are gathering. Video posted about halfway down the page. Direct link to the video here.