Socrata Endorses Open Data Charter

December 17, 2015 7:00 am PST | Data as a Service

Editor’s note: This post was written by Eric Eden, Socrata’s Chief Marketing Officer.

Socrata is honored to endorse the International Open Data Charter and support a new era in digital government improving lives with open data.

Global momentum behind open data continues to grow. Questions about whether open data was a genuine thing, or merely the latest, shiny fad have been put to rest. Open data matters. The importance and value of data as a public good (which the public has already paid for) is undeniable. But governments and organizations still wrestle with the “how” — how to unlock data and make it actionable and impactful on people’s lives.

A data catalog providing access to whatever “low hanging fruit” data agencies are willing to open is not the answer. The odds of that producing significant impact are low. As a leader and innovator in open data, Socrata has seen this firsthand.

Enter the International Open Data Charter, a high-level roadmap developed by a collaboration among governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, and the private sector. For those committed to seeing digital government become a reality, the Charter helps light the path forward. The principles it describes are more than aspirations and platitudes; each principle includes specific commitments — actions — that if implemented greatly increase the likelihood that relevant data that people want will be usable and used.

Is this enough? No. For any government, the path to open data with impact is a series of decisions and investments in data, people, technology, and engagement. The Open Data Charter is an invaluable guide in this. If paired with a detailed implementation methodology informed by actual experiences — a blueprint in the true sense of the word — governments will be positioned to succeed. This will really improve the time-to-impact that governments see with their open data efforts.

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