Open Data Business Models


I want to know about " open data business model" or just “data business model” …

Licence for some data often states that Data cannot be used for "commercial purpose " etc … Ok. …

How can you be sure that one person who download it didn’t break that rule ? … So I want to know, can it be conceivable to adopt a “time limit” for the data utilization before the dataset ( file) itself is designed to sel-destruct after a determined period of use … Is this fair as well … ?

This of course doesn’t concern " Open Dataset" as it’s free and reusable for anyone … (if commercial use is allowed)

A license is not mandatory in a data package but open data needs one

Hi @assomaidi, I’ve moved your question to its own topic and into a more appropriate category in the forum to make it more visible and hopefully provide an answer or generate some discussion.

I’ve seen some organisations make a business using open data by:

You may find these references helpful:

Looking forward to thoughts from others…


Thanks @Stephen! There’s also the study “Open data means business” from the ODI:


thanks, will look at it …


maybe useful:


For research data (as a subset of public sector / publicly funded data) see also OECD Global Science Forum and CODATA Report ‘Business models for sustainable research data repositories’


At OpenGov, our “open data business model” is somewhat meta, as we’re a govtech company that aims to help governments open data (as a verb) not just to the public, but internally as well.

The hypothesis is that helping governments break down silos and open data within first, that:

  1. We make them more efficient and accountable,
  2. We help promote a culture of data-driven governance,
  3. And the public ultimately benefits not just from improved service and increased trust, but the data that is published is of high-quality as its derived from operational data

We also treat budget data as the most important dataset, for:

  1. They’re the taxes that we pay for a civilized society (which is the main rationale for government)
  2. It’s the revenue that pays for all the services that produces the data
  3. The Chart of Accounts describes the Departments and Entities within government that delivers those services and serves as a proxy for its priorities (“spend vs outcomes”)


Thanks Joel, how does OpenGov make money from helping governments open data? From the website it looks like:

  • selling software products
  • consulting
  • training


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Hi Stephen, all our solutions are cloud-based, so we sell subscriptions and not software. That takes care of one big problem of legacy software, as the solution is constantly improved. We also price our solution so its commensurate with the budget of the jurisdiction, so everybody gets the same foundation.

We do provide services as well to help governments open data, and do training to help them use the solutions effectively.


Link Digital has two business models. Professional services and managed services. Most agreements are a combination of both. The former is billed in 40 hour increments and aligns with a weekly sprint for one FTE. When we estimate work we rely on clients having an understanding of the scrum methodology and don’t tend to meet requirements as they might be stated in something like a functional specification, rather we’d simply start with a backlog and deliver the most value for clients within the budget they have available. We’ll plan out a release schedule which will tend to have two or three sprints combined into each and make sure user acceptance testing builds confidence around the projects overall delivery schedule.
We do have at least one other business model we’re playing with, which will incorporate a subscription model for the use of value adding product integrations for open data platforms.


You may find this taxonomy of data-driven business models helpful


Here’s a link about how open data can benefit business

Looks like there may be more videos coming


Useful to note, as the OSI says but slightly amended for this context: open data per se does not have a business model, businesses have business models.