Mccarrs creek estuary near Barrenjoey lighthouse Australia by Dassana Wijesekara

Think beyond compliance with Open Data

Dassana Wijesekara
5 min readApr 29, 2024


Data is not a by-product of business processes, but an asset to any organisation. Data is often seen as a management and technology problem, rather than a business one. Organisations need to understand the fact that in order to survive the competition they should become information-
centric organisations which uses data as facts in strategic decision making.
Identifying relevant data as an asset and enabling border less data exchange builds a better organisation.
In order to enable organisations to move with the speed and agility the market demands, organisations need to improve on the following aspects.

  • Identifying and curating data
  • Data exchange
  • Transformation and analytics

Open data or more broader concept of “Open Innovation” allow organisations to build a frictionless and widely accessible data chain within it self. The term “Open Innovation” was first coined by Prof. Henry Chesbrough in his widely referenced book Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology.

“Open Source” movement that started in early 90’s expanded in to open protocols and open architectures covering both software and hardware. “Open Innovation” philosophy provided the intellectual framework around this movement. This was further extended by governments and market forces to make data open to establish fair competition and improve the consumer’s decision making ability. Following diagrams shows the open data initiatives and their historical progression.

“Real-time data becomes invaluable for decision making during a time of crisis.”
- Senior Executive, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Value of data and its haring is endorsed by many governments across the world. The NSW (State of New South Wales in Australia) government data strategy is based on following principles which is relevant for any organisation.

  • We treat data as an asset and manage and protect it effectively
    throughout its lifecycle, including managing data quality at source
    where possible, and using master and metadata standards that
    facilitate data linkage, use and sharing.
  • We collect, create or procure data once and use it many times,
    including through enduring de-identified data linkages, where possible
    and permitted by law.
  • We support and promote greater use and availability of data including
    publishing open data with appropriate safeguards.
  • We strive to understand return on our data investment.

Following graph from HealthStats of New South Wales state government of Australia shows de-identified aggregated information. Information is public and free to use.

Achieving Open Data Aspirations within a Regional Compliance Boundary

Most geographies in the world is having active Open Data initiatives as a government driven compliance requirement or industry driven standards.

Open Banking started with European Parliament passing PSD version 1 in 2007. It was focusing on payments, was promoting online and mobile payments and greater collaboration across european banks. Then came the revision 2 of the Payment Services Directive with a increased scope to cover retail banking and depth. In 2016 Monetary Authority of Singapore (MSA) and Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) brought the concept “Finance as a Service”. They developed API play book and an API registry which registered APIs made available by financial institutions. It was revolving around account information share, real-time payments and KYC. Open Banking UK went active in 2018 which is a derivative of PSD2. Hong Kong Monetary Authority was championing Open API Framework on the same time lines. They took a phased approach in implementation.

Consumer Data Right in Australia started in 2019 and was focusing on sharing customer data securely with data recipients with read only Open APIs. It moved beyond banking, covers energy, now moving in to open finance. It takes a phased approach as Hong Kong. Then came along the Brazil which has their Fintech Law and has a phased approach. Distribution of these Open Data initiatives are shown below.

All open data initiatives share common philosophy and built on common building blocks. I will take Australia’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) specification as an example.

Modeling Data and Extending it to Support Additional Features

CDR defines a clear data model to represent individual business objects (e.g account or banking customer) as shown below.

The same data model can be extended by making additional attributes available beyond the data model mandated by the compliance. These data models defines the raw data. CDR data isn’t just limited to the data directly received from Data Holders. It also includes any data derived from CDR data and any information extrapolated from that. And this is where Open data has the potential to create significant innovation.

Derived data is created by transforming existing raw data points to create new insights that aren’t readily obvious from observing the original data. These insights can be created from observations, experiments, and simulations when raw data is cross-referenced against different data sets and advanced statistical analysis is completed on that combined material as shown below.

Extending the Delivery Model to Support B2B Consumer Choices

In CDR the data is exposed to accredited data recipients (ADR) through REST APIs using JSON format. While supporting the APIs and its behaviour mandated by the specification, organisations can expose the same data set using different API flavours or interaction protocols as shown below.

Additional APIs and additional behaviour on the same APIs can be made available expanding the API space value addition.

CDR data and derived data comes under privacy safe guard rules of the CDR specification. Please see the policy definition of WebMoney shown below.



Dassana Wijesekara

Technology evangelist, enterprise software architect many years spent designing world class mission critical software. Pilot, artist, musician and photographer.