We are experiencing a data revolution. Projections alone for the volume of data speak of 40 zettabyte, or over 5 terabyte per person, by 2020. Data is everywhere: vendor-driven buzzwords like ‘big data’ dominate the private sector, the general public is more aware of metadata in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, and we see a positive uptake of data in our daily lives in the form of, for example, transportation apps based on open data and tools for the quantification of fitness activities. Like the internet, data is here to stay.
The UK plays a leading role in the discussion of how data is culture
In my role at the Open Data Institute (ODI) I observe the extremes of data as culture. There are individuals, countries and governments who are almost oblivious of data. They are at the very beginning of integrating data into their society and it will be a long journey of scepticism, sobering experiences and balancing the tension between, for example, use and privacy. The advantages of better informed decisions make resisting these changes difficult, similar to a resistance of adopting the internet.