Kuk, George and Davies, Tim
The Roles of Agency and Artifacts in Assembling Open Data Complementarities.
In, ICIS 2011, Shanghai,
04 - 07 Dec 2011.
Strong claims are made about the potential of opening government data to drive service innovation. Yet little is known about the detailed processes of how hackers create or reshape services out of new releases of public datasets, and the conditions for the move from data release to service innovation. We argue the utility of open data is accrued through the creation of new artifacts with enhanced performativity transformed by human and material agency. In a multimethod study of the open data hackers in the UK we identified a series of interlocking processes involved in the conversion of public data into services of public value. We found that few of the ‘rapid prototypes’ developed through hack day events are maintained or sustained as service innovations beyond those events. Five artifacts provided the value stack of complementarities: cleaned data available through APIs or bulk downloads, linkable data, shared source code and configuration, source code repositories, and web technologies. Our findings also suggest that only a few open datasets induce the process of change, and that initial contributions are driven by the use values but can only be sustained through an open innovative approach to induce further collaboration within a wider open data community.
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