As the significance of tapping into the knowledge contained within Big Data continues to grow, an increasing number of businesses are utilizing publicly accessible data—extensive databases containing millions of records that are open to everyone.
More precisely, in the United States, public data encompasses information made accessible through the Freedom of Information Act. This data encompasses details about real estate, pharmaceuticals, demographic data, and much of what resides in the public domain, including arrest records, legal cases, and driving histories. However, ‘public data’ often encompasses information from both government and non-government sources and is sometimes used interchangeably with the term ‘open data.’
Effectively harnessing publicly available data can significantly enhance a business’s ability to target and engage with customers.
Public data vs. open data
Public data can often be synonymous with open data—data that is easily accessible and published on readily available platforms. There is a vast amount of data available for analysis, offering essential insights for your business. While much of this data may not yet be conveniently located in one place, there is a wealth of public data that can provide vital information. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that only about 10 percent of all public data is published as open data; the majority of public data is accessible, but not necessarily readily or easily so.