Governments around the world are starting to change their information from disconnected documents into open data – standardized, searchable, and available to all. Open data holds the potential to transform government and society: empowering citizens to hold government accountable, enabling data-driven management by supporting analytics and visualizations, and generating private-sector growth. As governments choose to express their information as open data, they also open opportunities for the tech industry to create the platforms, analytics, and reporting mechanisms that deliver these benefits. Open data is already transforming governments’ finances and operations – and improving services in areas like health care and education. But across all these areas, policymakers must move faster to transform their information from documents into data.
The California Data Demo Day, hosted by the Data Coalition in Sacramento, was an opportunity to explore all three benefits of open data: better accountability for citizens, data-driven management for public-sector leaders, opportunities for private sector growth. Executive-branch and legislative-branch speakers explained how they’re accelerating open data through policy reforms. Members of the Data Coalition demonstrated how they can use open data to transform government and society.