Data sharing helps agencies work smarter

Jul 01, 2015

Government Button.jpgInterdepartmental data sharing is one way to improve relationships within government agencies and, as a result, positively impact community relations down the road. Proper government data management is crucial to maintaining many federal, state and local systems and to bolstering communities affected by these agencies. Big data and open data work together to strengthen communications between departments and thus give agencies the information they need to best serve the public.

Why is open data important?
In 2013, President Obama signed an executive order stating that all government data must be made public and available in machine-readable formats, according to InformationWeek. This meant that government data could now be used to develop new technology and build new businesses.

The same benefits that the public can glean from the Open Data Policy can be used by government agencies themselves, as well. For instance, the state government of Texas is expanding its interdepartmental data sharing. In the near future, there will be a statewide data coordinator who will have a direct impact on government relations. In an interview with Government Technology, the director of digital government for the state Department of Information Resources, Janet Gilmore, stressed that open data in combination with big data will go a long way toward helping state agencies work smarter.

“The ability to bring this information out of the cabinets and into the public realm, where it can be used for all kinds of things, is certainly there,” Gilmore said. “One of our goals that we’re still not realizing is sharing data across organizations in a very useful way.”

Gilmore hopes that with the creation of the statewide data coordinator position and more focus on data sharing across government departments will foster more efficient, better government work.

The Colorado state government is also showing dedication when it comes to sharing data between departments. The Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology stated that themission of the Government Data Advisory Board is to “improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state government, citizen service delivery and policy-making by providing guidance and recommendations on how the state should govern and manage data and data management systems.”

These efforts by states like Texas and Colorado demonstrate a willingness to improve government data management and transparency between departments – in effect improving community relations in the long run.