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The value of research data


The economic value of Australia's research data is becoming increasingly apparent. At the heart of unleashing this value is making the data openly available to stimulate research, innovation and industry.

ANDS makes the case that there is a huge amount of untapped potential in fully utilising the nation's extensive research data collections.

We have commissioned two reports into that potential, exploring the value of research data in more detail:

CSIRO has also published a report on the value of public research data, which ANDS contributed to:

Government data portals

Australian federal, state and local governments are in the process of opening their publicly funded data for reuse as a result of the Australian Government Public Data Policy Statement (Dec 2015). Some examples include:

International assessments of the value of data

The economic impact of Open data: what do we already know? (Nov 2015) by , Open Data Institute summarises the economic arguments for Open Data and references four other reports.

Date Study Scope Benefit of open data
(% GDP)
2011 EU Commission Europe (public sector data only) 1.5 %
2013 Shakespeare UK (public sector data only) 0.4 %
2013 McKinsey Global 4.1 %
2014 Lateral Economics G8 countries 1.1 %

The European Bioinformatics Institute

The European Bioinformatics Institute is an intergovernmental organisation providing freely available molecular data and services to scientists around the world. It is funded by European states, the European Commission, Wellcome Trust, US National Institutes of Health, UK Research Councils, industry partners and the UK Department of Trade and Industry.

A study into the value and impact of the Institute, published in January 2016, put the benefits to users and funders at £1 billion per year worldwide (approximately AUD$2 billion) - more than 20 times the direct operational cost of the institute.

The European Bioninformatics Institute is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). EMBL Australia, launched in 2010, is an associate member of EMBL with the goal of strengthening Australia's global position in life sciences and focusing on nurturing early-career scientists.

Mapping UK Data Assets

A new report from RCUK aims to provide a short guide to the main existing datasets, along with 'healthwarnings' for those using them. It also briefly sets out what tools they currently have at their disposaland how they could be developed in the future.

Open Research Data Collections

In June 2015, representatives from over 40 Australian research institutions gathered in Canberra to showcase their most recent Open Research Data Collections: easily discoverable, richly described and openly available.

The posters highlighted the huge academic and geographical diversity of Australia's research data, and the innovative use of that data to make new discoveries.