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U.S.: Economic Effects of Open Data Policy Still 'Anecdotal'
Source: fcw.com/articles
Source Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Internet Governance
Country: United States
Created: May 20, 2013

A year after the launch of the government's digital strategy, there's no official tally of the economic activity generated by the release of government datasets for use in commercial applications.

"We have anecdotal examples, but nothing official yet," said federal CIO Steven VanRoekel in an invitation-only meeting with reporters at the FOSE conference on May 15. "It's an area where we have an opportunity to start to talk about this, because it's starting to tick up a bit, and the numbers are looking pretty good." (Related story: APIs help agencies say yes)

The Obama administration is banking on an explosion in the use of federal datasets for commercial and government applications alike. Last week's executive order and accompanying directive from the Office of Management and Budget tasks agencies with making open and machine readable data the new default setting for government information.

VanRoekel said that the merits of the open data standard don’t necessarily need to be justified by economic activity. "As a guy who stands looking inside government, my true test of this stuff is when you go to the last 20 minutes of a hackathon," -- an event that introduces developers to government datasets -- "and you see results...that blows the doors off a lot of solutions that you've seen inside government using proprietary systems," he said.

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