Data-driven engineering design research: Opportunities using open data
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Parraguez, Pedro; Maier, Anja
Institution: Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology
Engineering Design research relies on quantitative and qualitative data to describe design-related phenomena and prescribe improvements for design practice. Given data availability, privacy requirements and other constraints, most empirical data used in Engineering Design research can be described as “closed”. Keeping such data closed is in many cases necessary and justifiable. However, this closedness also hinders replicability, and thus, may limit our possibilities to test the validity and reliability of research results in the field. This paper discusses implications and applications of using the already available and continuously growing body of open data sources to create opportunities for research in Engineering Design. Insights are illustrated by an examination of two examples: a study of open source software repositories and an analysis of open business registries in the cleantech industry. We conclude with a discussion about the limitations, challenges and risks of using open data in Engineering Design research and practice.