Open Data For Business

The idea of Open data and its accessibility has been in Nepal for a couple of years now, and it is growing. It has widened its wings in various sectors of development as well.

Yesterday, on 17th June 2018, National Business Initiative (NBI) Nepal had organized an event called “Open Data for Business” where there were expertise from different industrial, agricultural fields discussed about the usage Open Data for their growth.

The event started with a welcome speech by Mr. Padma Jyoti, President of NBI, emphasising on the importance of Data in the field of Business. He said that knowledge must be shared, not hidden; same thing goes to data. Data must be open and available.

The event was then taken away by Mr. Allen Bailochan Tuladhar, Country Director at Microsoft Innovation Centre, Nepal with his keynote presentation. He said that everyone has right to information. Hence, data must be open i.e. data must be equally available to everyone to utilize it and make data driven decision. Few of his keynotes were:

When is data “open” and when isn’t it?

Data in the form of hard copy is not open unless it is available in digital form which can be used in our excel sheet and perform manipulations. Features of open data are:

  • Availability and Accessibility
  • Reuse and Redistribution
  • Universal Participation

Why is open data so important?

  • For making Business decisions.
  • Economic Growth.
  • Transparent Governance.
  • To conduct well targeted programs.
  • Research and studies.

How can open data help us?

  • Optimize business operations.
  • Innovate new products.
  • Economy.

Open data in Nepal are available in Company Registration, Public Procurement, Export/ Import and Taxes. But, the data available is not sufficient for making any data driven decision.

He said that: “It’s time for making bridges, not Islands.” emphasizing on sharing data rather than keeping it locked inside.

The event then proceeded with a panel discussion with panels as Mr. Kush K. Joshi, Neek Transforms, Mr. Arniko Rajbhandari, Director of Nepal Dairy Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Sudhir Mittal, Shree Airlines, and Mr. Prabin Basnet, CA, Machhapuchhre Bank.

Mr. Kush K. Joshi said that data is important to “Fill in the gap between demand and supply”. Mr. Prabin Basnet said that data helps to prevent fraud and forgery. Mr. Sudhir Mittal said that data is informally shared between airline industries but it is not considered open. Mr. Arniko Rajbhandari said that data is important to determine market position of a business industry and to make strategies.

The panel discussion revolved around “How real is it to share data in industrial fields such as agro, manufacturing, airlines, and finance?” All the panels landed onto a conclusion that data can be open when:

  • We make people used to making data; make people used to using data.
  • On realization of benefits of data.
  • Collective effort.
  • Changing the mentality that: “Your ignorance is my business.”

Various questions form the audience on

  • How to distinguish that data is right or not?
  • Where does authentic data come from?
  • Why are private sectors so shy on sharing data?

were also raised in the panel discussion.

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Written by Dorjee Khando

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