When I first started Total Car Check, I knew that data would play a large part in the success of the organisation.
There has been a big push over the past few years from this government to try and release as much data as possible in an open format, this includes vehicle related data, through portals such as data.gov.uk, and through groups like the Open Data User Group and the Open Data Institute.
So what is open data?
“Open data and content can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose”
There is a longer definition and explaination at the opendefinition.org.
At Total Car Check we have been involved in pushing for the open release of vehicle related data since we began and helped form and publish:
- The benefits case for the open release of DVLA data
- The benefits case for the open release of the Police stolen vehicle records
We are also helping to form the case for the open release of the DVSA MOT history data, which holds a plethora of useful information about the mechanical history of a vehicle.
The point is, without this data out in the open, the benefit is limited as it cannot be analysed, combined and presented with other data to help inform used car buyers of the history of a motor vehicle.
There is a lot of power left to be unlocked in this data, but the truth is that all of the published benefits cases have so far had no impact on the release of this data.
Lets hope that changes over the coming months.