Open Data in Government: Past, Present and Future

Recently, GovLoop interviewed Bryan Sivak, CTO, Department of Health and Human Services about his work with healthdata.gov and open data. Over the last few years, government agencies have worked to “open up their data.” This means that their datasets can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone. The hope with the Open Data Initiative is that government becomes more transparent, innovative, and participatory to improve overall engagement and deliver better services to constituents.

In the video above, Sivak highlights his work with HHS to open up their data. He shares helpful tips to improve communication and collaboration within agencies, as well as the importance of innovation to drive open data initiatives. Specifically, he notes HHS’s “Innovation Council” which is a self-selected group that works to turn innovative ideas into reality. Sivak also discusses the value of training and education when it comes to open data. He sites two main reasons for developing outside education partnerships. 1) HHS employees can improve their skill sets by seeing what other data experts are doing in various agencies and the private sector. 2) Outside partners can help make sense of HHS data to educate the public. For example, Codecademy is providing online training to show how people can use HHS datasets in practice.

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