The big businesses that we have looked at in this report come from different sectors and have different markets. In each case, however, the business has taken an open approach as a strategic response to challenges that they face.

As part of their approach, Thomson Reuters, Arup and Syngenta have begun to:

  • understand their internal use of data, how it should be managed and developed
  • articulate business cases for improving internal data capability and increasing open data publication
  • improve the quality of data they hold
  • build trust and collaboration in the market
  • enable deeper engagement with customers, collaborators and future partners, through feedback on data being published and its uses
  • create partnerships with new startups and market entrants with an open ethos
  • build an organisational culture that is open to feedback and insight inside the organisation, as well as outside in the environment it operates in

Addressing the challenges that big businesses face, and taking advantage of the opportunities that the data revolution brings, requires new ways of thinking and operating as a business. This is not only a technical challenge but also an organisational and cultural challenge. Big businesses that respond to these challenges are creating new business models and ways of working that give them a competitive advantage, whatever the future brings.


About this paper

This paper was written and produced by the Open Data Institute in 2016, based on interviews with the teams at Thomson Reuters, Arup and Syngenta. If you have insights into open data’s use and benefits for big business, share them with us at [email protected]. If you are interested in exploring the potential of open data further, consider joining our global network as an ODI Startup, ODI Member or ODI Node.