Opening up government databases can bring a series of benefits to different sectors of society by creating a cycle of mutual benefit. One of the first beneficiaries is the government agency that decides to open its databases. The simple structuring and execution of organizational mechanisms that allow these databases to be systematically published and opened can contribute to a significant increase in the quality of teams and services, as well as knowledge of internal bottlenecks and obstacles. It is not possible to manage or know that which you cannot measure. Opening government data enables you to know and measure these activities.
Open data may also contribute to the advancement of science. Opening government data enables independent researchers or those associated with institutions to access a valuable layer of information about the formulation and implementation of public policies, how society resources are directed, and the impact of programs on improving people's quality of life. Well-designed research contributes to raising the level of knowledge that a given society has about itself and even about other societies in international research, as well as providing conditions for its actors to make increasingly justifiable decisions.
It is also beneficial to the private sector. Responsible and consistent opening of government data allows entrepreneurs or groups of entrepreneurs to use their creativity to build tools, solutions, and technological advances that often escape the notice of expert teams that work with this data within the governmental structure. This means that opening up data can contribute to generating jobs and wealth, creating healthy interdependence between the government and the private sector.
Civil society organizations can also take advantage of open data. Opening up databases can raise the quality of services provided by non-governmental organizations that are often complementary to those offered by the state. The government has a plethora of information about the public and services of interest to these organizations. Free and unrestricted access to this data enables these organizations to put their services to the test and measure their results, continually increasing the quality of their activities.
Finally, everyone can benefit from open databases by having facilitated, free access to data generated in the governmental sector. Society as a whole benefits. At the individual level, the benefit is exercising the fundamental human rights of freedom and access to information. Open data, which is part of open and transparent government, is one of the pillars that supports societies that want to be more free and just. It contributes to strengthening democratic processes, opening paths for greater citizen participation in public administration, and promoting social control of government activities. Access to government data allows anyone to monitor the implementation of public policies and measure their effectiveness. The availability of tools that allow citizens to know what actions the government is taking strengthens the state's legitimacy, enhancing its role as a key player in the pursuit of social welfare.
Successful initiatives in this area that serve as inspiring examples for opening data are not lacking around the world, including in Brazil. Discover some of them below.