This Bipartisan-Supported Transition Report Institutionalizes Open Data Gains & Offers a Path Forward

October 26, 2016 10:00 am PST | Data as a Service

This week, the independent nonprofit Center for Open Data Enterprise released its transition report for the next presidential administration at the National Press Club in Washington. The report’s release was lauded by Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Coalition, Max Stier, President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, and Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, among other speakers at the event.

Michelle K. Lee speaks about the importance of APIs to developers and citizens.


Joel Gurin, President of the Center for Open Data, says that he’s hopeful that the Open Data Transition Report “will guide the next administration to improve access to information and further develop one of our nation’s most important resources.” The Center researched more than 340 public sources, consulted with 57 interviewees, and reviewed over 70 potential draft recommendations.


The suggestions were evaluated to ensure that there was a pathway to make them actionable within one year and grouped into four major categories:

1. ENHANCE THE GOVERNMENT OPEN DATA ECOSYSTEM: These recommendations strengthen chief data officers, improve data quality with user feedback, and fully implement the DATA Act.

2. DELIVER DIRECT BENEFITS TO CITIZENS AND COMMUNITIES: From fighting hunger to improving opioid addiction treatment, these recommendations tackle the most pressing human needs.

3. SHARE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH DATA TO SPUR INNOVATION AND SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY: Among the recommendations, the White House is called upon to establish international standards for collaboration and data sharing, and the National Science Foundation is petitioned to develop an annual research data census.

4. HELP BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURS USE GOVERNMENT DATA AS A RESOURCE: “Launching a standard business reporting program will ultimately help businesses lower reporting burdens and costs” is one of Gurin’s favorites recommendations. The report also calls for an easier process for discovering government-owned intellectual property to help entrepreneurs build on the free resource.

Kevin Merritt, Socrata Founder and CEO, calls the publication “a concise, thoughtful, practical and pragmatic playbook for extending and amplifying the positive impact open data has already had.”

Want to learn more? Read the report’s summary.

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