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Growing Open Data Movement Could Mean Big Bucks

International Business Times - Last week, Ireland became the most recent nation to open up their books to the public by launching its first national data portal, joining a growing open data trend. Raw information, that was once usually only available upon request, is being published online in an effort to improve government transparency, accountability and efficiency.

Ireland's offering the data free and with no restrictions on its use. Giving the public a channel into institutional information, advocates say, can create greater participation in the political process, improve public services and even catch instances of fraud and waste. And, economists say that open data can bring trillions of dollars to the table.

More nations are embracing open data. In 2010, only a handful of countries maintained data sites. In 2014, there were at least 59.

Hundreds of local and regional government websites have been started, and international organizations like the World Bank and the United Nations have followed suit.