Why Open Data Is a Priority for Utah

October 7, 2016 9:33 am PST | Data News Roundup

Following the success of Data Transparency 2016 + The White House Innovation Summit, Kevin Merritt, Socrata founder and CEO, sits down with Meritalk and Statescoop to discuss the future of open data. Utah’s Chief Information Officer talks about the benefits of open data. And GovLab highlights major ways open data can improve the world, from driving economic opportunity to improving disaster response. Read more of this week’s big stories in the Open Data Download:

Open Data’s Unexpected Benefits in Utah

“On the job since last October, Utah Chief Information Officer Mike Hussey leads IT in the state’s fully consolidated environment. One area of notable leadership is Utah’s open data portal, opendata.utah.gov.” Watch Hussey discuss open data in Utah on GovTech.

Here are 4 ways #opendata could improve the world, down to your neighborhood

“Education, government corruption, economic opportunity, disaster response: Stefaan Verhulst [the Co-Founder of GovLab] sees the opportunity for open data to dramatically improve the lives of people in each of these categories, and, really, way more.” Read more from Technical.ly.

1,100+ law enforcement agencies using open data mapping tool

“In a time of tension between law enforcement and the public, more than 1,100 law enforcement agencies across the country are using a crime mapping tool to try to push data about their work out to citizens in a way they understand. Socrata and Motorola Solutions relaunched a tool called CrimeReports this spring — a map of crime data that updates in real time. The tool includes a responsive website, and a mobile app for iOS and Android.” Read more from StateScoop.

Socrata CEO Advocates Open Data as a Communication Tool

“Governments should be using open data as a communication tool with the public, according to Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt. ‘The open data movement or industry is moving beyond this version 1.0 era of just putting raw tables online and just hoping that somebody can make sense of it. And now there is a noticeable and apparent shift from quantity to quality,’ Merritt said. He explained that raw data sets are often unusable for the average citizen or small business that may want to better understand city trends or use the data themselves.” Read more from MeriTalk.

The 2016 Open Data Roundtables: New Report on Putting Data to Use

“From March through June 2016, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the nonprofit Center for Open Data Enterprise ran a series of four Open Data Roundtables. These events brought together a total of 290 experts from inside and outside of government….We asked the participants to tackle some of the most difficult challenges and biggest opportunities for government data: privacy, data quality, sharing research data, and public-private collaboration.” Read more from the Huffington Post.

New Data Federation promotes open digital government

“A new effort from the General Services Administration will support governmentwide data interoperability and harmonization. Building off data.gov, the U.S. Data Federation promotes common data formats, API specifications and metadata vocabularies that will allow federal, state and local government to pursue an interconnected data strategy. This unified data architecture will also allow the public a means to access and analyze data across government agencies.” Read more from Federal Times.

Serving Citizens Via Social Media

“It should come as no surprise that a session at the ICMA 2016 Annual Conference in Kansas City called ‘Maintaining Trust through Civil Customer Service’ focused mainly on social media and digital tactics….Local governments must remember that social media conversation is a two-way street, advises session panelist Bridget Doyle of Sterling Heights, Michigan. She is the director of community relations, which includes oversight of the city’s social media channels. People don’t want to visit or even call city hall these days, she says, yet they still want to feel that ‘human touch.'” Read more from ICMA.

Cancer Moonshot: Unleashing the power of data

“Is open data the cure for cancer? Less than 5 percent of American adults living with cancer will be part of a clinical trial, according to the American Cancer Society. Michael Balint, a presidential innovation fellow working with the National Cancer Institute, says that low percentage is caused by the perception of being a guinea pig, negative marketing and misinformation sharing….That’s why the National Cancer Institute recently launched a beta application programming interface (API), Balint said, ‘to expose more information in clinical trials.’…The API is part of the overarching Cancer Moonshot initiative, a $1 billion effort spearheaded by the Vice President to speed up cancer research — and ultimately eliminate the disease.” Read more from Federal News Radio.


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