Knowledge is power, data is important! - especially in the present, which is often referred to as the information age. The world's largest corporations (Alphabet Inc./Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Acxiom) have huge amounts of data that make up a core part of their business. Data is the new currency of the digital world – the oil in the Internet. The personal data that these companies use to make money is the gold dust on the Internet. Data is a coveted commodity. Data stocks (such as ideas and knowledge) are not consumed, but grow more and more. They can be reproduced at will and used by many people at the same time. Scientific data will make it possible to better understand problems such as climate change, environmental disasters or the Earth's ecosystem and to take appropriate action. Company data is used to support decision-making in production and sales. Administrative data supports tasks in public administration and makes decisions transparent and comprehensible for the citizen.

Open Data means that governments, administrations, scientific institutions, companies, non-governmental organisations and citizens' initiatives make their data generally available (with the exception of sensitive data, such as personal and data protection, patent or state secrets). This data is no longer only available to a limited group of privileged persons and insiders, but can also be used by anyone who has the necessary knowledge to make full use of the data potential. This potential is great: the European Commission estimates the market volume at 300 billion Euros in 2016. An increase of 325 billion Euros is forecasted by 2020. The number of "data workers" in the EU will increase from 2016 (about 6 million) to up to 10 million by 2020.

In this course unit you will learn:

  • Why open data is important for society, democracy, science, business and not least for you, and why its importance continues to grow rapidly.
  • Interesting facts about the Open Data movement and its backgrounds.
  • Where to find Open Data, how to use it and what to keep in mind.
  • Copyright and Open Data Licensing basics.
  • To assess whether an Open Data set is suitable for your project and represents added value for your project.