In Celebration of Open Data Leaders

Open Data Day, which took place on Saturday, March 5, 2022, is an annual opportunity to celebrate and share the myriad uses of open data in government, business and society.

The benefits of open data in the government space are many: providing the public with transparency into how government runs, engaging communities with self-service access to public information, and democratizing information for decision making.

Data Champions

Open data champions across the country are not hard to find. These state, local and federal leaders are transforming data into an asset for financial transparency, performance improvement, public health and safety, and more.

One of the goals of Open Data Day is to encourage the adoption of open data policies in government. In that spirit, it’s important to highlight the inspiring work of the people and agencies who are bringing open data policies to life.

  • “The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) releases timely public health data so people can use it for situational awareness and myriad public health decisions. Releasing data on pandemic events like COVID-19 and routine public health functions is important for transparency, workforce development, and data hygiene.”
    — Brian Lee, Senior Advisor, Informatics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • “The Connecticut Open Data Portal provides access to data from state agencies to increase government transparency, drive efficiencies, and spark innovation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, agencies have published data on public health metrics, school learning models and attendance, and the economic recovery.”
    — Pauline Zaldonis, Open Data Coordinator, Connecticut Office of Policy and Management
  • Delaware has an open data portal used by state agencies, residents, and stakeholders. It provides a variety of agency-supported datasets.”
    — Jen Koester, Director, Enterprise Data, State of Delaware (DTI)
  • Montgomery County, Maryland has an ongoing partnership with our local community college (Montgomery College) data science program. They use county datasets for their senior capstone class and we provide guidance as needed and host them for a semester presentation with county data owners and management. This gives students great work experience and helps us gain insight on how our community is using county data.”
    — Victoria Lewis, Data Services Manager, Montgomery County Government

Moving Data to Action and Impact

The promise of moving data into something actionable is great. GovLoop explored this in “How Data Aids Global Child Welfare,” illustrating how the public sector is at the forefront of community impact when efforts are supported by modern technology, including open data platforms. GovLoop also explored data dashboards, stories and resources that are playing a pivotal role in improving response to the homelessness crisis in “Addressing Homelessness with Data.”

Data is the way policy moves into practice. It helps everyone work smarter, not harder. By identifying opportunities to aggregate and analyze data, government leaders have helped save lives, increase productivity, avert crises and cut through backlogs. Meaningful wins that directly help constituents are perhaps more valuable now than ever before.

Meredith Trimble is a former municipal official and Town Council Acting Chair, who focused on strategic planning, annual budgeting and bonded infrastructure projects. Her government experience also includes posts in both federal and state-level executive branch agencies; Associate Editor of the Federal Election Commission’s FEC Record; and Director of Education for the CT Office of State Ethics. In her current role as a Content Manager, Editorial with Tyler Technologies, Inc., she writes content to help empower those who serve the public. Her current focus is to help facilitate data-enabled organizations and create connections between governments and those they serve.

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