Presented By
O’Reilly + Cloudera
Make Data Work
29 April–2 May 2019
London, UK

The unstoppable rise of white box data

Chris Taggart (OpenCorporates)
Location: Capital Suite 13
Average rating: ***..
(3.67, 6 ratings)

Black box data—obfuscated proprietary data—has been the mainstay of many data markets for decades, despite its known problems: the lack of provenance, unclear legacy data models, and proprietary identifiers. Now, its time appears to be finally up, with even the US government rejecting it.

Chris Taggart explains the benefits of white box data and outlines the structural shifts that are moving the data world toward it.

Photo of Chris Taggart

Chris Taggart


Chris Taggart is the cofounder and CEO of OpenCorporates, the largest open database of companies in the world. OpenCorporates’s primary mission is to open up and connect company data from across the globe, making it more useful, usable, and understandable for the public benefit. OpenCorporates has already made a clear and significant impact. First, its database of over 160 million companies in 130 jurisdictions is a critical tool for investigative journalists, NGOs, academics, due diligence professionals and government agencies from across the globe. Notable users include the ICIJ’s Panama and Paradise Papers investigations, the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, the BBC, the Financial Times, the Times, Global Witness, and Transparency International. OpenCorporates has also been the leading force behind the push to make company registers open data for access to all—with numerous successes. This public benefit mission is supported by an innovative virtuous-circle, public-benefit business model, whereby the free public access is subsidized by commercial users who paid for data in bulk, having confidence in its quality due to the intrinsic many-eyes feedback loop. Commercial users include Mastercard, Capital One, Factset, Transferwise, and PwC.