• Augustin Le Fèvre
4. term, Information Science, Master (Master Programme)
Open Data (data publicly accessed that anyone is free to use, reuse and redistribute) has been studied as a mean to foster economic growth, to promote more transparent governance, or to empower the citizens of a country. These studies do not analyse the Open Data’s impact on individuals and companies developing software, or Application Providers. Thus, this thesis seeks to fill this gap by studying the effects of Open Data on the Application Providers’ software development methods and on the ecosystem they are part of it. In order to answer these questions, this thesis applies an exploratory approach model as its main methodology. This implies that the goal of this research is not to confirm a priori hypotheses but to make an initial contribution to the study about the impact of Open Data on Application Providers and to propose avenues for possible future researches.
The first step of this study was to explore the literature to create an initial knowledge about the topic, in order to determine what an analysis of this topic should enquire. The research also included a data creation process, which consists of four successive semi-structured interviews in an iterative process: the outcome of an interview contributed to the redefinition of the interview guide of the next one. The collected data was analysed, working through codes, categories and finally themes while building a higher level of data understanding of the data. Regarding the analysis, it was possible to create a model of the development process, identifying new tasks and explaining the way some common tasks need to be addressed when working with Open Data. Firstly, after identification of a need and finding a way to solve the problem, the Application Providers have to retrieve data. Then they have to assure the reliability of this data (a certification task), to clean/correct the data, and finally to create a wrapper around the data to render the uses easier, before being able to develop an application. Afterwards this thesis provided with an explanation why and how beneficial it is for an Application Provider to have employees with certain skills. These skills are the ones of a journalist (who knows how to look for and understand data), data specialist (who can process and treat data efficiently), XML expert (who knows how to create models of complex data relations) and designer. Finally, the thesis explained how the fact that Application Providers had opened their data both internally and externally improved their capacity to innovate. Lastly, this thesis described how some of the tasks mentioned previously could be outsourced by the Application Provider, bringing a new actor in the ecosystem, who proposes the retrieval and treatment of the data as a service.
Publication date2 Jun 2014
Number of pages97
ID: 198426185