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Just Released: Hockeystick's Open Taxonomy, The New Data Standard

Here at Hockeystick, we’ve always been committed to providing comprehensive, accurate data. And in the last couple of months, our commitment to accessible and comparable data has grown.

In May, we released our open database. It’s free, can be used by anyone and was built by collecting publicly available data, including government open data, company and fund websites and press releases, as well as data directly contributed from countless startups and funders who believe in what we’re doing.

Every group, organization or company that contributes data to our open database owns their own data and have the exclusive right to modify it. This open database is about building a community-owned asset that benefits everyone.

This open database is entirely built on the open taxonomy we have developed and released today.

 

Why This Matters to Hockeystick (And Why It Should Matter to Everyone)

We initially realized how critical data taxonomy is as we were building tools for different stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem.

With the increase in data reporting by companies and investors, it’s becoming easier to obtain and collect data. Unfortunately, data becomes useless when it’s reported in a format that is specific to a certain company, investor or country and cannot be easily compared with other data.

We heard directly from clients how certain entities were interacting with and transmitting data on our platforms. Even though the data sources were describing the same metrics and entities, they were using entirely different terminologies, for example, Sales vs. Revenue, SaaS vs. Software-as-a-Service.

So we set out to find a new way to standardize how we handle data and solve these data mapping issues.

In a previous blog post, we explored the history of taxonomy. In its most basic sense, data taxonomy is a hierarchical structure that inherently separates data into specific classes based on common characteristics.

The closer a database can get to every data set speaking the same language, the better we can enable connectivity across the tech ecosystem.

 

Unveiling Our Open Taxonomy

The Hockeystick team is proud to release the open taxonomy. Our goal has always been to find the gold standard for data taxonomy, and we believe this initial document is the first step to achieving that.

In summary, the open taxonomy:

  • Classifies data to eliminate redundancy and promotes the reuse of data in systems
  • Encourages the need for a standard that becomes the metadata framework against which information is reliably reported and consistently compared
  • Adheres to standards and ensure safety, reliability, and interoperability
  • Aligns with standards outlined by regulators and legislators when protecting user and business interests
  • Encourages innovation, the development of new technologies and the enhancement of existing practices.

The open taxonomy provides comprehensive identification across a variety of entity types, including organizations, partnerships and businesses.

It addresses classification questions like: Which attributes define an “Accelerator”? What is the difference between an “Early” stage company and a “Startup”? ”What does it mean to be an “Investor”?

We’ve completed extensive research so that we are adopting both the most thoughtful and widely-accepted standards. We’ve also spoken with experts in the field, including specialists at the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, University of Toronto, Waterloo University, global capital markets data platforms, and the federal government.

By standardizing data, we are positioned to provide better analytics and more accurate data points across several domains. We are ensuring that data reporting is structured, with the goal of making financing activities in the startup world more transparent and comparable.

 

We Want to Hear From You

This is an open source project for everyone in the community to use and develop. We encourage everyone to read the open taxonomy and tell us what you think. You can provide us with direct feedback here.

Our challenge is to make sure we build the most forward-thinking taxonomy to meet long-term needs and keep up with the pace of the ecosystem. And the best way we can do that is through feedback from key participants who are passionate and knowledgeable about the future of our ecosystem.

It’s an ambitious project. And to get there we’re going to need everyone in the ecosystem to contribute to this truly community-centered project.

 

Open Taxonomy

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