Open Data Is Improving Voters’ Experience at the Polls

November 4, 2016 1:27 pm PDT | Open Data

As the election approaches, all eyes are on voting data. The Commerce Department’s National Technical Information Service is partnering with organizations, including Socrata, to break down the barriers that stop people from using open data. Read these stories and more in this week’s Open Data Download.

Government needs digital transformation to reverse sliding satisfaction

“Federal agencies are in need of digital transformation in order to reverse declining service satisfaction rates, save money and build for the future, according to a new report from big data and analytics firm Govini.” Read more from FCW.

NTIS announces data partners

“To increase the use of government data, the Commerce Department’s National Technical Information Service has selected 35 organizations to work with NTIS to help federal agencies improve their data access, interoperability, search and services. Although the federal government collects an enormous amount of data — on weather and climate, population and the economy, to name just a few of the larger datasets — many barriers exist for efficiently using, sharing, analyzing and gaining insights from these national resources.” Read more from GCN.

Reporting Recipe: Election Administration Data From Electionland

“This month we published an interactive story that helps readers understand how elections are actually run all over the U.S. It’s based on data from the 2012 Election Administration and Voter Survey, a biannual project run by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to better understand voters’ experience at the polls. The story is part of Electionland, a collaboration with the Google News Lab, Univision, WNYC, the USA Today Network, the First Draft Coalition and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism to cover problems that prevent people from exercising their right to vote during the 2016 election.” Read more from Pro Publica.

Innovating and Learning through Failure

“I have been lucky to serve under a President and a Secretary of Commerce who have the vision to allow and promote ‘failure’ on the path to innovation….When it comes to open data, we have been driven to wrangle and present our valuable data so that innovators will be willing to try (and sometime fail) in creating magic.” Read more on Medium.

DOD adding a chief innovation officer

“The Defense Department is creating a chief innovation officer position, Secretary Ash Carter announced Friday. Carter’s decision follows several recommendations made to him by his recently launched Defense Innovation Board, led by Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. The board, earlier this month during its first release of recommendation, told Carter that while there is innovation in the department, it’s trapped in silos.” Read more from FedScoop.

Banding Together: 6 Challenges Shared by City CIOs

“In cities in New York state, CIOs are already self-organizing, convening as a group to leverage their collective experiences. Reaching out to the Center for Technology in Government (CTG), an applied research center at the University at Albany, for trusted guidance, CIOs from New York City, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Yonkers and Albany (representing populations of 99,000 to 8.4 million) convene annually to have open conversations in a closed, trusted space to share ideas, discuss common challenges and brainstorm potential solutions.” Read more from GovTech.

How A Lack Of Open Data Is Slowing A Farming Revolution

“You’d think that with almost 800 million people underfed or malnourished around the world today that there probably isn’t enough food to eat. But this is completely untrue: In fact, there’s 20% more food available than needed to meet everyone’s needs, and even most undernourished countries have a raw surplus of food. What’s going wrong? The obvious answer is that a lot of food is being wasted. Look deeper, and you’ll find another reason: a lack of information.” Read more from Fast Company.


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