Open data, for smaller municipalities, has always been a path strewn with obstacles that include cost and technical capacity. This has led to a trough in open data between larger, more affluent public entities and smaller entities. Delivery of an open data program for all jurisdictions needs a simple, affordable and appropriately sized solution. A new offer, delivered in partnership between JMH Associates and Link Digital promises to deliver the right tool for this job.
For several years now data portals have been delivering ‘open data for the people’, with the promise of benefits flowing through to citizens, communities and economies. Jurisdictions around the globe have invested in a great migration into the nooks, crannies and datastores of their public institutions to discover the heretofore hidden treasure of a datum left unexamined.
Nations, States and cities have launched, evaluated and evolved their open data policies and supporting infrastructure in an environment of prophetic enthusiasm. We have applauded each release of a key dataset, circled and studied the site of each impact zone, and for sport we have kept our tally boards and yard sticks in hand to mark each release and measure each gain. To the winners go the spoils; more posts, more shares, more likes and more connections. More data for the trove.
More recently the open data community has shifted away from quantity and set a more sensible focus on quality. However, there remains some measure of competitive pressure surrounding the release of open data and this is most obvious in the features being implemented within the portals themselves.
Diligent business analysts will helpfully identify which bureaucratic systems have complexities that will need to be addressed, while subject matter experts and academic researchers will deliver compelling cases to expand your imagination to the point where, on reflection, only a complex and feature rich solution seams to fit.
However, the United States has always been a “bottom-up” governance model. The Federal Government and State and Local Government don’t often interact except at the broadest of policy levels. Access to data that affects individuals, communities and cultural regions is left to Local Government. In the US this availability is subject to the socio-economic profile of the locality.
The volume of valid discourse surrounding open data holds a hidden cost, an opportunity cost. While large vendors and well funded jurisdictions are expanding and refining the scope of open data solutions, the smaller jurisdictions are being left behind.
For small municipalities in the mid-atlantic US Region, moving forward with your open data initiative is now simple.
- Contact JMH to complete the public data Assessment questionnaire and participate in a free two hour discovery session.
- Take delivery of your open data action plan from JMH, with Full and transparent costings included.
- Decide to take action and partner with JMH to deliver the benefits of public data for your municipale constituents with the proven reliability of CKAN managed by Link Digital.