Dirk Riehle's Industry and Research Publications

If Open Data is Like Open Source (20 Years Ago) 5/5: Inner Data

In five posts, I want to speculate about the next twenty years of open data based on the past twenty years of open source. The idea is to transfer what we learned from open source in one way or another to open data.

This is part 5 on inner data, that is, the collaborative creation and sharing of data within one company.

If this sounds easy, please meet the “modern” corporation with internal competition, phlegmatism and personal antipathy, all of which ensure the corporate silo structure.

Learning outside in

Like in open source, open data may affect company-internal sharing of data, which I call inner data here. Open source led to inner source, the use of open source best practices of software development within companies. Equally, open data may lead to helping break down the silos that business units often represent. The practices of sharing established by open data may finally get neighboring business units to work together on better shared company-internal data.

Financial compliance

Like in inner source, the biggest problem for sharing data across company business unit (silos) may turn out to be financial compliance. More specifically, if different legal entities, still within the same holding company, collaborate on data, the tax authorities may require the business units to properly price data contribution and use.

If this so-called transfer pricing is not done correctly, the tax authorities may cry profit-shifting, leading the firm’s internal financial compliance department to shut down any inner data efforts.

Learning inside out

Finally, as companies look to open data to learn about inner data, they may eventually turn things around, trying inner data collaboration first to prepare for and build the ability to participate in open data projects. Then, they will have come full circle, and open data wlll have won!

Go back to the start.

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