Open data in government

NASCIO: Open data efforts maturing

A new report from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers finds that open data initiatives are advancing at all levels of government in the United States. States and local governments in particular have partnered with industry to create innovative ways to deliver data to individual, business and government consumers.

“Government data is in demand, and a principal consumer of that data is government itself,” said Carolyn Parnell, co-chair of the NASCIO Enterprise Architecture & Governance Committee and chief information officer for the state of Minnesota. “One of the most significant outcomes we’re seeing is the sharing of data across state agencies and across jurisdictions. That can enable cross agency and cross jurisdiction coordination and orchestration which in turn leads to more effective delivery of state government services,” she said.

The NASCIO report, States and Open Data: From Museum to Market Place – What’s next?, takes a look at what has occurred across the states since NASCIO’s 2009 report on open data. The report also recommends how to advance state government open data initiatives and begin moving to a next level of maturity, which it calls the strategic stage.

In this stage, states need to grow their open data initiatives by creating a formal vision and strategy, and working in consultation with other government stakeholders and industry. In addition, open data managers should:

  • Determine the value of data and information assets.
  • Define policies, methods and procedures for refreshing, archiving and records management.
  • Establish and manage data portfolios.
  • Select and assess candidate data sets.
  • Establish meaningful metrics.

The report offers detailed examples from states as they’ve worked through the policy, management and technology challenges related to open data.  Besides lessons learned, the report includes an appendix of states’ open data legislation.

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