The Power of Open Data — Case Study: How Open Data Saved Canada $3.2 Billion

A most interesting and valuable case study of savings for the public purse in Canada from the use of open data — by exposing a large tax fraud involving charitable receipts – is:

Case Study: How Open Data Saved Canada $3.2 Billion
by David Eaves

As Eaves writes, in essence, “the power of open data” is “the power to find problems in complicated environments, and possibly even to prevent them from emerging.”

See also Eaves’ three laws of open government data post:
  1. If it can’t be spidered or indexed, it doesn’t exist [i.e., can the data be found?].
  2. If it isn’t available in open and machine readable format, it can’t engage [i.e., to be useful, one needs to be able to play with the data].
  3. If a legal framework doesn’t allow it to be repurposed, it doesn’t empower [i.e., a legal framework is necessary to allow sharing of the data].

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog, referring in turn to Pew Internet’s Susannah Fox, The Power of Data and the Power of One.