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How Data is Radically Changing the Federal Government

September 27, 2016 Government agencies tend to be cautious about trying new things. Public servants have the responsibility to be prudent when they spend taxpayer dollars and even small changes to a government program can affect thousands and sometimes millions of people. Until recently, the risks associated with change were too great, but...

It’s Time to Revolutionize the FOIA Process With Democratized Data

July 18, 2016 On June 30, President Obama signed the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 into law, stating: “I am very proud of all the work we've done to try to make government more open and responsive, but I know that people haven't always been satisfied with the speed with which they're getting...

Can Government Outpace the Private Sector in Innovation?

January 21, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Kevin Merritt is the founder and CEO of Socrata. The University of Washington believes that nurturing boundless innovation and creativity empowers students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners to create a world of good. Through the Innovation Imperative, the UW is creating inclusive solutions to society’s grand challenges. This article is...

Governments Around the World Join Data-as-a-Utility Revolution

June 17, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Kevin Merritt is the founder and CEO of Socrata. Governments around the world are finally leaving the 20th-century analog world and entering the digital age of the 21st century, which has been shaped, driven and disrupted by innovative and consumer-friendly companies like Apple, Amazon, Twitter, Google, Facebook, Uber and airbnb....

Why Steve Jobs’s Influence is Reverberating Through Government

June 2, 2015 One of the newest, hottest and most visible career paths right now is the westward exodus of talented investment bankers from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. But, if you look closely, this vaunted professional migration has been offset in recent months by an equally powerful influx of cutting-edge technology executives,...

Why Steve Jobs’s Influence Is Reverberating Through Government

June 2, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One of the newest, hottest and most visible career paths right now is the westward exodus of talented investment bankers from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. But, if you look closely, this vaunted professional migration has been offset in recent months by an equally powerful influx of cutting-edge technology executives,...

What to Expect from Open Data in 2014

January 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow 2013, arguably the most vibrant year in the history of open data, paved the way for even bigger achievements in 2014. As open data transitioned from a social movement to a quickly growing global market, developers seized on the newly-available data to create software applications that improve people’s lives. In...

Op-Ed: Data is Inert -- It’s What You Do With It That Counts

August 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In its infancy, the open data movement was mostly about offering catalogs of government data online that concerned citizens and civic activists could download. But now, a wide variety of external stakeholders are using open data to deliver new applications and services. At the same time, governments themselves are harnessing...

Op-Ed: Open Data Is Re-Defining Government in the 21st Century

June 13, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Perhaps it’s the constrained fiscal reality, punctuated by threats of government shut-downs. Or maybe it’s the ideological wars in Washington, playing out most recently in the battle over privacy and security sparked by revelations about the PRISM surveillance program. Whatever the reasons, the public sector in the 21st century gets...

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