In May, the Obama administration announced a Roadmap for a Digital Government.
This comes after many moves in the UK and Canada toward Open Data and changing how government handles data.
The idea is simple – and it implies to redesign completely how data is handled and made accessible inside the government agencies’ data repositories. Data is to be isolated and collected; and Application Programming Interfaces (API) can then be put in place for both government, and also the public, to exploit and make sense of that trove of data.
Some administrations and agencies will resist to this new approach. But the approach is so fruitful and effective in enhancing government’s effectiveness – and allowing citizens to access and find new ways to use the data – that most developed countries are now moving quickly in this direction.
Why will it work? Because the Federal CIO is reporting directly to the President. And because it is such a pressing, necessary need that those governments that will not do it will die of excessively expensive infrastructure to maintain. In the current context of debt crisis it is certainly an excellent economic decision!
Open Data – public data made accessible to the world, is not just a dream. It is driven by need. And it will reveal unforeseen value to the citizens.
If your government is not yet ready to Open Data, tell them they should do it… or lose precious competitive advantage! And be ready for Open Data to be used to enhance significantly your daily life. People will find ways to use it in unexpected forms and will just reveal the treasures hidden in this trove of information!