Fighting Corruption With Open Data

“Monsters in the closet” refers to issues that need to be exposed and addressed, rather than ignored. This is particularly the case regarding matters of corruption. Major companies and governments have been exposed. The actions of a few individuals have had far-reaching consequences that continue to hurt local, national, and global economies.

According to Transparency International, “Companies continue to publish too little information about their commitments to comprehensive anti-corruption systems and their sprawling operations…As a result, the world’s largest companies may contribute to an environment in which corruption can thrive.”[1]

How can this issue be addressed? Using “open data,” organizations can increase transparency and weed out corrupt business practices, thereby unlocking economic value. McKinsey Global Institute defines open data as “machine-readable information…that’s made available to others,” and refers to the “liquidity of data” as a measure of openness based on four characteristics: the degree of access, machine readability, cost, and rights.[2]

Although it may seem easy to move to open data, a solid foundation supporting data quality, and data and systems integration, is important. Let’s look at how these characteristics support transparency through open data.

Data Quality in an Imperfect World

Garbage in, garbage out. In other words, the usefulness and reliability of reports and other types of information are only as good as the quality of the data going into them. Ensuring consistent data quality isn’t easy, as it requires a commitment from the organization and often involves a cost that seems difficult to justify at first glance.

To illustrate the importance of data quality, take a partner firm, “The Widget Company,” that has a trade relationship worth $5 million, annually. If one system defines the firm as “Widget Co,” another as “Widget,” and yet another as “The Widget Co,” how would we know that it is one and the same? Worse, if each of these entries has a separate risk profile, how would we know the true risk associated with that partner? Risk is just one element that justifies an investment in a data quality, data transparency initiative. Compliance, governance, and collaboration are areas of concern, as well.

However, it’s unrealistic to think that all data quality issues will be addressed in the short term, or that data will ever be perfect. TIBCO’s patented matching engine, TIBCO Patterns, enables you to search across mountains of imperfect data without compromising accuracy, making your systems smarter and more accessible. Moreover, you can be up and running in a matter of days. This approach can make your data more “liquid” by reducing the cost of open data and greatly increasing its degree of access.

Data and System Integration

Without proper data and systems integration, it is practically impossible to understand and tackle business issues, especially across large organizations.

For more than 20 years, TIBCO has been at the forefront of integration and continues to be a recognized leader in this space. We provide infrastructure software that delivers information in real time. Sometimes referred to as event enablement, or real-time data interaction and integration, the result is information that can be analyzed and acted upon faster.

The importance of having integrated, real-time information—regardless of the business model—cannot be overemphasized. Even for businesses that don’t have constraints around real-time delivery of information, though those are few and far between, getting access to information a little bit earlier is invaluable.

Because the data is available in electronic form, its usefulness increases exponentially. It can be combined with new, real-time data to bring an understanding of context and what is happening now—a capability that can provide unprecedented value.

So, how does your organization rate on the transparency scale? Do you have a plan to move to open data? Let’s make some “monsters” go away together.

Explore our Integration Maturity Model to learn more about business transparency and integration.

And, find out how our solutions enable the electronic exchange of business information with suppliers, partners, and customers in Transforming B2B for the 21st Century.