Federal Open Data Goals for the Next Administration

(Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Quick transitions of teams make for a relatively seamless administrative shift, according to Max Stier, president and chief executive officer of the Partnership for Public Service.

Stier, who spoke Oct. 24 at the Center for Open Data Enterprise’s launch event promoting its recent report, said cohesiveness was important for team motivation. The report, titled “Open Data Transition: An Action Plan for the Next Administration,” offers recommendations for capitalizing on the potential of open data, no matter who takes the Oval Office in January.

As a new presidential administration approaches, Stier warned that transitions are a time of maximum vulnerability. He said that teams lose momentum on their work if they constantly have to adjust to new members, and that mass substitutions in the workforce may be less jarring than piecemeal appointments. He also said that data on how transitions affect work performance should be made available for agency use.

“Going fast is actually easier than going slow,” Stier said. “There ought to be transitional data on if people are performing the way they should.”

The center’s report outlines 27 recommendations for the upcoming administration to improve the impact of open data. Ideas include data-driven initiatives that would ensure public safety and job training, as well as mergers between open data sets and projects involving climate change and smart vehicles.

Joel Gurin, president of the Center for Open Data Enterprise, said that the report outlines four goals that the next administration should view with paramount importance. The goals are establishing open data programs in all Federal agencies, making open data available to the public so that non-Federal people can work on important problems, sharing research data with scientists, and making it easier for businesses to access government data.

Hudson Hollister, founder of the Data Coalition, said that in order for the center’s goals to be met, Federal agencies need to standardize their data in order to manage it and share it efficiently with others. He said that the Babylonians did a better job of using resources to keep track of their information than the U.S. government does.

“Standardized data is necessary,” Hollister said, “It’s what’s for dinner.”

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