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Open data: a shared benefit that creates value

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While public players have been using open data for two decades, this strategy is gradually being distilled into companies. Some provide free access to their data, thus providing information to all employees, their ecosystem (customers, partners, media) and consumers – citizens. Sharing makes it possible to enhance transparency, develop new uses and create value.

For twenty years, public actors (state, national agencies, statistical institutes, observatories, local authorities, etc.) have been using open data. INSEE, Legal and Administrative Information Administration (DILA), CNAM, Urssaf, Météo France, Ministries, Local Authorities, etc. All these organizations produce and provide, on freely accessible platforms, portals or applications, a wide variety of data: demographic, meteorological, security, financial, road, tourist, health, environmental, employment, etc. Thus, by spreading knowledge, allowing all citizens, private companies, and public bodies or associations to use this data, open data becomes a creator of value and promotes innovation and transparency.

Open data is entering corporate norms

Big consumers of this open public data, private companies have long been reluctant to share their private data for fear of revealing sensitive information about their activities. Another obstacle: the obligation of private companies to obtain the support of the public administration and the support of investors. Because where public institutions are forced by law to distribute their open data, private companies are not obligated to do so. Only the proactive approach imposed by the public administration can lead them to practice open data.

But why open your data? What benefits can he derive from it and how is the way forward?

Groupe BPCE, the leading open data banking institution

Convinced that data is a prerequisite for better understanding and anticipating markets, and that it is a lever for innovation and value creation for a company, the BPCE Group launched, in 2017, an open data approach. The Group, as a pioneer in this field, has chosen to publish an open data platform produced by its various entities (Banques Populaires, Caisses d’Epargne, Natixis, Oney, Banque Palatine, etc.). Put on the Internet formats that can be used and understood by everyone. This data – from company activity reports, indicators, location of bank branches, studies prepared by experts of the group and its payment metric – is not only viewable, but also usable by all employees of subsidiaries Through members, service providers, suppliers, customers and citizens.

This is how the platform publishes studies and indicators based on public data produced by group entities. These macroeconomic data produce trends or market data such as saving behaviour, changes in payment methods or consumer credit, real estate market, etc. These data catalogs also allow users to retrieve it to share or extract useful information for their projects. The group’s job offers are also posted and updated 4 times a day. These offers are posted in accessible formats, and are taken up by job boards, which gives them great visibility. Finally, Groupe BPCE, as partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, publishes public datasets on its open data portal, such as studies on the economics of sport or the list of athletes supported by its institutions.

Today, Groupe BPCE makes 180 public data sets available free of charge to analysts, journalists, researchers, teachers, students, open data operators, local authorities, chambers of commerce, carriers and start-ups. In the logic of consistency of attention, employees also benefit from this open data strategy because it facilitates access for all, allowing everyone to easily use public data in order to create new uses.

However, adopting such a strategy requires not only the deployment of an easy-to-use and interoperable platform, but also a paradigm shift in data production and use. Not only should the data produced be of high quality and regularly updated, but it should also be able to circulate smoothly within and outside the company. Availability of data that requires the company to establish governance and a culture of data.

Open data methods are changing the way companies innovate, create, and collaborate. When data circulates, employees do their tasks better and more easily. Businesses are playing a role in democratizing data and improving the daily lives of everyone across the board. While data is everywhere today, it is necessary to raise awareness, explain and train so that everyone understands the challenges of this common good that must be consumed without moderation!

Co-sign with the forum Luc Barneau, Chief Data Officer, Groupe BPCE

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