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4 big opportunities for state-level innovation

What: “The Best States for Data Innovation,” a report from the Center for Data Innovation

Why: Data driven-innovation is helping states unlock the potential for improving health care services, reducing crime, developing sustainable communities and improving schools. The report provides recommendations for state policymakers.

Findings: The report uses 25 indicators in data, technology and people and companies fields to determine which states are doing the most to encourage and promote data-driven innovation. Virginia, Utah, Washington, Massachusetts and Maryland lead the rankings while Alabama, Wyoming, Alaska and South Carolina fall to the lower end of the spectrum on certain metrics.

Some states have natural advantages that can encourage companies to invest in their economies such as data centers in Missouri’s mild climate or smart-thermostat adoption through incentives in Texas. Regardless of the advantages or disadvantages, states can help to promote data innovation through writing policy to encourage open data practices and creating a statewide e-government strategy.

To foster more progress, the report suggests, state officials should look into four areas to promote innovation:

  1. Have public agencies participate in programs to foster conversations, as the Department of Energy has with its Building Performance Database.
  2. Encourage adoption of smart meters by allowing utilities to include them in their base rates and develop incentive programs or tax credits offerings with state utility commissions, in addition to promoting the industry-led Green Button Initiative.
  3. Provide support to state and municipal departments of transportation to publish real-time transit data that meets the General Transit Feed Specification format.
  4. Find ways to increase broadband access and improve broadband speeds through streamlining access to conduits, rights of way and utility poles at reasonable rates, providing access to information on state or city-owned infrastructure and working public works on conduit installation, and supporting efforts to promote digital literacy and broadband adoption.

The full report can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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