From Data to Transparency in D.C.
The District of Columbia has emerged as a transparency leader.
The District of Columbia has emerged as a transparency leader. The now-famous "Apps for Democracy" initiative, which allowed private individuals, students and companies to create open source applications using city data, has been hailed as a breakthrough in transparent government.
But before there was "Apps for Democracy," there was "DC Data Feeds," an initiative to make city data available in usable form to citizens. Spearheaded by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), raw data from multiple D.C. government agencies is housed at the District’s Citywide Data Warehouse (CityDW) and supplied via over 320 data feeds to online sites in a variety of technically usable forms.
In this embedded video (4:00), I speak to David Strigel about how D.C. went about making its data accessible -- and its impact on city operations. The DC Data Feeds program was a 2009 Innovations in American Government award winner.
Making raw data publicly available has lessened the burden on city infrastructure. Since its implementation, city administrators report less time spent fielding questions and requests for information. Data feeds also serve as the informational backbone for the city’s CapStat program, an internal performance management system used by the mayor and city officials to track agency performance against established goals.
Such readily available metrics create a culture of accountability that has resulted in improved performance in key areas such as reduced health care wait room times, lower city fixed costs, and institutional improvements in fighting crime.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
California May Raise Smoking Age to 218 hours ago
Illinois Budget Crisis Means Lottery Winners Have to Wait for Payout9 hours ago
Governor of Florida Declares Emergency Before Erika Hits9 hours ago
University of Texas Will Move Jefferson Davis Statue15 hours ago
Michigan Won't Allow Marijuana Treatment for Autism15 hours ago
Pot Group Goes to High Court to Change Ohio's Legalization Ballot Language15 hours ago
More from Better, Faster, Cheaper
Didn't find what you were looking for? Search our archives, or subscribe to one of our e-newsletters, and we'll bring the news to you!