The Data Spectrum helps you understand the language of data

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Some of us worry about personal health records being “made open”. Some confuse commercial and personal data, or mix up “big data” with “open data”.

To unpack data’s challenges and its benefits, we need to be precise about what these things mean. They should be clear and familiar to everyone, so we can all have informed conversations about how we use them, how they affect us and how we plan for the future.

And it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be simple. In one image.

Whether big, medium or small, whether state, commercial or personal, the important thing about data is how it is licensed.

Data exists on a spectrum

The spectrum ranges from closed to shared to open.

You can freely copy and use these images in any media (they are CC-BY licensed).

How to get involved