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Open Data: It’s Not Just for Governments

Jen van der Meer (Reason Street)
Data Driven Business
Ballroom CD
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Slides:   1-PPTX 

Open data has been established in government circles, particularly with the launch of open data government initiatives such as and These efforts are grounded on an overall philosophy that data should be available for to use and share without restrictions, and that government data has value as public infrastructure.

But what about all of that commercial data – what role do companies have in contributing to open data sets? What use are all of the government open data efforts if some of the most valuable data stays locked away from public access?

Looking at examples from startups to Fortune 500s and successful public-private partnerships, I will demonstrate that the movement for open data is moving beyond just government to the realm of industry. Looking at examples from health care, apparel, finance, and even advertising, I will demonstrate that the early movers in open data are looking to redefine the rules of their industry. The future of competitive advantage may very wall fall to those that move from mere open source to public source.

This talk will help anyone who is tasked with determining the business value of data, and how to generate higher outcomes.

Photo of Jen van der Meer

Jen van der Meer

Founder, Reason Street

Jen van der Meer is the founder and CEO of Reason Street, where she creates business models for social impact. A former Wall Street analyst and economist, Jen is a data doyen who masters the emerging edge of technological change. Throughout her career, Jen has practiced an approach that is equal parts data-driven and creative to understand and apply the opportunities for technology to transform the economy, society, and culture. Jen has held executive management roles at Organic, Frog Design, Dachis Group, and Luminary Labs. She was previously a partner at Drillteam where she developed innovation crowdsourcing programs for companies such as Target, Toyota, Nestle, and Neiman Marcus, earning the first social media programs in the industry. Jen organized the acquisition of Drillteam to Powered, Inc. in 2010, which was then merged into Dachis Group in 2011. She is actively engaged in the local startup community in New York City and is a vocal supporter of the open data movement. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU ITP and SVA’s Products of Design. Jen has a BA in comparative religion from Trinity College and an MBA from HEC in Paris. You can reach Jen at