Data Drives Citizen Engagement and Government Efficiency

December 8, 2016 12:00 pm PST | Data News Roundup

The Statewide Data Coordinator for Texas discusses how sharing data leads to economic benefits — and also helps public agencies show their value to constituents. A Forrester Research analyst predicts that there will be a big push in 2017 for open data standards, and publishing ever-more granular federal spending data. Read this week’s big stories in Open Data Download:

U.S. Chief Data Scientist: ‘Time Is Now’ for Technologists to Jump into Public Service

“’Data is a force multiplier in every level of society,’ said White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil….That government improve how it collects, shares and opens up its data is imperative, Patil said, because the data deluge is only getting larger. The challenge is magnified given the societal implications data forces governments to face: There is now a data component to civil rights, police shootings and other societal issues….Patil also called technologists to action, nudging them to serve the public by employing their technical excellence for the greater good.” Read more from NextGov.

Data Policy Could Make or Break Trump Immigration Goals

“The Federal government’s policy on data collection and management could determine whether President-elect Donald Trump will be able to carry out his administration goal of finding and deporting illegal immigrants who’ve been convicted of crimes….Wilson [Wes Wilson, of IC and Federal Law Enforcement Business Development at IBM Federal Software Group] said that Trump’s agenda will force a conversation about policy restrictions that prohibit certain data sets from being combined within the Federal government due to privacy restrictions.” Read more from MeriTalk.

“The Democratization of Nerdiness”: City staff Discover Efficiencies in Edmonton’s Open Data

“A funny thing happened when Edmonton started sharing its transit, land use and population data with members of the public. Its own staff noticed, and found data they could use, too. ‘It’s like data was siloed,’ said Stephane Contre, who supervises a new team of five data scientists and analysts now focused on helping city staff benefit from this new resource. He can rattle off a list of ways this is already helping. People from across the municipal corporation are coming together, saving money on everything from driving time for turf maintenance to cracking down on emerging security concerns.” Read more from Edmonton Journal.

Data Sharing Drives Citizen Engagement

“Cities, counties and states provide many critical services to the community that often go overlooked, undervalued or represented poorly by a single incident. By boosting visibility and transparency through open-data initiatives, agencies can better earn respect from citizens who recognize the value that agencies contribute to their quality of life.” Read more from StateTech.

Customer-Centric Government Won’t Be Great Again in 2017 and Other Government Tech Predictions

“The Trump administration—interested in shining a starker light on federal spending and helping the private sector leverage federal data—will push for the standardized, digital publication of even more granular spending information and other federal data sets. To help this effort and ease the burden of federal paperwork on businesses, the Trump administration will also move agencies toward a single open data standard for the information they collect from the private sector. These efforts will be a boon for businesses that benefit from federal data and expend significant resources complying with agencies’ disparate reporting requirements.” Read more from NextGov.

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