In case you missed it The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) published their “Data Manifesto” at the end of last month. The manifesto makes ten recommendations and has a powerful focus on the ways in which data can improve policymaking, democracy and prosperity.
The Manifesto emphasizes the opportunity given by the use of data in taking action and the improved effectiveness and efficiency of policy-making it can ensure. This also means that the quality of the data offered in the public domain is crucial for the public’s trust in it, as this is in the view of the RSS the base of democracy. Nonetheless the correct understanding, use and exploitation of data is very important for our wellbeing as a society, as data has a major impact on our economic prosperity.
The Regional Studies Association also values data literacy and the openness of data and research. This is why we encourage our memebers to put forward new data, methods and concepts, and this is why we started the most recent journal of the association, Regional Studies, Regional Science, which is an open access journal.
The true value of data, and especially open data seems to be catching a new boost in professional and academic environments as institutions are opening more and more torwards the society. Examples like the EU Open Data Portal, Cohesion Policy Data, or even the more recent PublicData.eu show that openness and accessibility is easily achievable and it starts to become a priority.