Every day, the pool of data that is publicly available grows. As developments in big data enable us to harness the power of this growing pool of data, interesting applications are emerging that marry established processes to publicly available data in new combinations.
An Example: BuyPartisan
A recent interesting example of this is an app called BuyPartisan, which allows you to scan the barcode of a product and get information about donations made to political parties by the company that made the product, and also by the company’s CEO, Board of Directors, and employees. Matthew Colbert, who developed BuyPartisan, says the objective of the application is not to sway buying decisions towards one political party or another, but to reveal information for those that might be interested in factoring the information about political donations into their buying decisions.
Thinking About Other Possibilities
This leads me to think about other possibilities to marry established processes with information that is out there publicly in the cloud of big data.
I have a friend who chose a neighborhood in which to live by driving around during election season and observing the campaign signs on the front lawns. In this way, she successfully made her new home in an area full of like-minded people. That process could be supported online if Zillow, a real estate shopping website, integrated voter registration data into their online shopping experience.
What other established processes could be enhanced with the data about donations made to political parties? I mentioned house hunting, but maybe job hunting, if you’d like to work for a like-minded company.
Thinking about it another way, what other public data could you marry into a shopping experience? Property tax records? Historical weather? Census data?
Amazon Web Services offers an index of public data sets. Check it out and see if it inspires you to think of new applications for public data. And please share your ideas below. The possibilities seem endless.