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Opendatasoft makes city data intelligible and accessible to everyone


Enabling their customers to turn their data into useful resources is Opendatasoft's credo. The company collaborates with ENGIE on various projects. This is why they will be presenting their offers at ENGIE's Energy Lab at Viva Technology from May 24th to 26th.

Jean-Marc Lazard, the co-founder and CEO of Opendatasoft, talked to us about his company and his vision for the future.

Opendatasoft is the first platform designed for opening and sharing data in cities. We have a technical solution that allows every stakeholder in a city to share their data.

This can mean very static data: budgets, geographical references, or real-time data: air quality, traffic, etc. The goal is to get all of the players involved, who each have a piece of the city’s data puzzle, to share what they have to develop value-added services, both for themselves but especially for their customers and/or the city’s inhabitants.
We add to this shared data open or less open data that is available from third parties. For a city, this may include data from the regional or state levels, or data that comes from private sector actors like Waze, with whom we have a partnership. The ultimate goal is to make this data usable and intelligible by the largest number of stakeholders, whether they are from the general public or developers.
Once the data is gathered on the platform, we format and make it available, giving users to access simple and interactive visualizations. Users can then view the information they need on a map or graph or download it for use elsewhere.

We address a variety of use cases: decision-making tools, or simply making data of general interest available to the general public, like financial reports, cultural data, agendas, etc. We want the data to be available and ready to use so that there is nothing to do except plug in the specific use case or application.
How will you make this dual process intelligible to visitors to Vivatech?

In general, what speaks to people are things that they can project themselves onto, so we will show things that are lively and attractive: cultural data or transportation information, for example, where you can see buses moving around maps.
These presentations will attempt to convince city stakeholders of the use of our product, showing them the benefits of adopting this kind of approach.
If they are more like data "consumers", we will show them how we contribute to sharing information better with city dashboards, for example. And we will show how certain indicators are connected directly to data systems, data production on behalf of the city or its public service delegations.
Tell me about your story with ENGIE.

We are working with certain business entities within ENGIE, and primarily with the Renewable Energies branch, on the availability of data from wind farms.
ENGIE is a fairly active player when it comes to working with local authorities, especially in the area of the smart city, and we are working together to produce ready-made systems for local authorities.
A lot of data comes from industrial systems that ENGIE operates like transportation and energy or lighting networks. And being already connected to these infrastructures lets us provide information directly to cities and other local stakeholders that helps them make more informed decisions and evaluate the outcomes of public policy.
This is our goal when we say that we are trying to co-develop solutions for our shared customers.
And what do you expect to get from being at Vivatech alongside ENGIE?

On the one hand, the possibility to get ourselves better known inside ENGIE, so that people recognize our offers and the projects we’re already collaborating on, in order to further develop shared data and value creation for our customers.
And on the other hand, we want to meet stakeholders from cities and communities to show them the power of our shared approach to data and what we can provide form them quickly in terms of innovative smart city solutions.
And finally, for you the future will be...?

For us the future will be global!
Our goal is to get ourselves rolled out worldwide. For the moment, we are quite well established in Europe, with 130 customers in 17 countries, and for us 2018 will be the year of conquest in new markets: Asia, the Middle East, the United States...

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