Another open data milestone
And so Mr. Zoellick, 57, is wielding knowledge — lots of it. For more than a year, the bank has been releasing its prized data sets, currently giving public access to more than 7,000 that were previously available only to some 140,000 subscribers — mostly governments and researchers, who pay to gain access to it.
Those data sets contain all sorts of information about the developing world, whether workaday economic statistics — gross domestic product, consumer price inflation and the like — or arcana like how many women are breast-feeding their children in rural Peru.
It is a trove unlike anything else in the world, and, it turns out, highly valuable. For whatever its accuracy or biases, this data essentially defines the economic reality of billions of people and is used in making policies and decisions that have an enormous impact on their lives.