The Power of Open Data
Aidsfonds has been at the front-line of combating AIDS for years. This involves measuring the impact of taken actions, monitoring progress and deciding on the direction for the future. Where the Aidsfonds works directly in the field to obtain insight regarding these matters, they also want to leverage the rich availability of open data shared by its partners and other organisations. Doing so, however, is a challenging exercise. Not only is there a lot of difference in how the data can be extracted from such platforms, there is high variability in how data is structured making it near impossible to combine and compare. It is hard to investigate the relationship between height of income with the number of HIV infections, if the numbers are only available in different data sets. Since the very beginning of our adventure as Soda, we have been collaborating to enable the Aidsfonds to leverage the power of open data.
Aidsfonds aims to free the world of HIV and AIDS. The Aidsfonds aims to provide both the medicines as well as the knowledge required to achieve this mission. All people should have access to prevention, treatment, care and support, especially in the regions that are most affected. Aidsfonds has been playing a pioneering role in achieving this for many years. Our generation has the ability to stop one of the largest epidemics in history.
First, a broad assessment on the availability of open data sources and their relevance to Aidsfonds was done. Then, for each of the sources that are deemed relevant, we build a stable connection to our database. This was done either by connecting to the provided API, web scraping or simply by downloading. The data of each source was then processed from a creative variety of formats to one intuitive format, ensuring that for example country names are similarly written in all sources and that dots are used to represent decimals rather than commas. Once processed, the data could be combined and made available on the data visualization platform of Aidsfonds.
Aidsfonds is now able to leverage knowledge provided by a large number of data platforms. Not only does this enable them to monitor progress and assess the impact of taken actions, it empowers them to make better decisions for which direction Aidsfonds should pursue in solving the AIDS problem in the near future.
What can you do with Open Data?
We find that many organisations, like the Aidsfonds, are wondering how they can leverage the abundance of available open data. One thing we know for certain, the potential is huge. Are you curious about the opportunities for using open data in your mission? Make sure to contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org.