Open Source Data Collection Panel Discussion – Part 3 #EconOpenSource


The Economist/Luminati Networks Open Source Data Collection Event took place last week addressing and debating significant topics focusing on the need for available data.

The conversation was led by Duncan Weldon, Britain economics correspondent, The Economist. The following established leaders shared their insights and shed a clearer light on several intriguing questions.

This article is the third and final part of this series of articles and will take you through the pioneering debate.

Why are companies still hesitant to openly discuss open-source data collection?

Mark Joseph, chairman, Luminati Networks:

When organizations view their data collection operation, they know it provides them with a huge competitive edge. A competitive edge they cannot live without.

Scraping the web sometimes is seen as an action you should hide or regard as your deepest secret. Sometimes the same person who is in charge of the organization’s data collection operation is the professional in-charge of ‘hiding’ the same organization’s data from their own competitors. There’s obviously a conflict of interest here.

Looking at our market today, openness is the key to healthy competition as well as benefiting the multitudes.

We should definitely promote an open conversation around data – I know my partners here believe in it and I hope all of you will too.

Steve King, chief executive, and co-founder, Black Swan Data

Data has to do with business intelligence and companies do not want to reveal their secrets. I think that this is at the core of this topic.

Menny Barzilay, chief executive, Cytactic:

I want people to remember that data drives innovation. I know that some think this may be a violation of privacy, but this assumption is completely false. Without data, there would be no innovation. Yes, we need to make sure we are practicing a well-defined ethical code, but it is our responsibility to educate the market that drives innovation.

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