At the Business Information Systems and Architecture Lab of the University of Lausanne, I was responsible for setting up the Innosuisse project “Open Data to Business – Data App Store for the discovery, integration and use of open data in business environments”.
Data is for today’s economy what oil was to the industrial age. Following the open data movement’s call to make data freely available to everyone, the Swiss authorities have already published more than 2300 data sets. This valuable base is still rarely used in the business context. For companies as potential data consumers, the main barriers are (1) the lack of transparency, (2) the unknown quality and (3) the heterogeneity of open data sources.
To address these challenges, our business idea is to provide a Data App Store that supports businesses in discovery, integration and use of open data. Unlike other open data platforms, the proposed Data App Store does not merely focus on data provision, but on the data consumption by businesses. For selected use cases and data domains, it provides metadata- based documentation of relevant open datasets. Furthermore, it offers data discovery (“dating”) and integration services to select, combine, transform and integrate the selected datasets into their company-specific data model and systems.
To realise the Data App Store, research is needed to link heterogeneous open datasets from distributed sources to the relevant business processes and target systems on the data consumer’s side. We achieve this by semantic knowledge graphs. To automate the retrieval of open data, we specify metadata schema and domain-specific ontologies, along with mechanisms for assessing data quality and increasing trust.
The CTI project results allow companies to unlock the potential of open data within their organisation. Getting data from the original source directly reduces the efforts for data preparation and cleaning that are estimated to 70-80%. As an indirect effect, improving data quality and access will positively impact many business processes and decisions. The expected turnover resulting from value-added and consulting services offered on this platform amounts to >2.25 Mio. CHF p.a. for the large customer segment in Switzerland.
Research partner: HEC Lausanne
Implementation partner: CDQ AG
Application partners: Nestlé, Swisscom, SBB