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Vivek Kundra on Data Transparency via Data.gov

Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO at the Potomac Officers' Club
Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO at the Potomac Officers' Club

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra wrote today on his OSTP blog about the challenges of collecting and disseminating government data via the federal website www.data.gov, whose stated goal is to “is to enable better decision-making, drive transparency, and help to power innovation for a stronger America.”

Kundra outlined some of the public’s goals for www.data.gov, including:

  • Set clear targets for bringing specific agencies’ data online
  • Show progress towards releasing data
  • Standardize inventory and prioritize agency data for open publication in downloadable formats
  • Adopt data dictionaries to ensure that terms have the same meaning across agencies

Data is powerful.  It informs and it creates opportunities.  It promotes transparency and it helps to ensure accountability.  Yet, it is a challenge to collect, organize, and communicate the vast stores of data maintained across the government. -Vivek Kundra

Apart from technical suggestions like adopting RSS feeds and other cutting-edge news distribution mechanisms, CIO Kundra solicited help from readers:

1. How should the federal government ask agencies to contribute data Data.gov? Should we have them inventory and prioritize all their data?  Should we set a fixed number of data sets that must be published each year or a voluntary target?

2. Make suggestions directly to Data.gov here.

3. What types of applications would you like to see built to leverage all this data?  Software developers are encouraged to start using Data.gov to build applications useful to businesses, government, and the American people.

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