Critical Read

Ranking the states on open data

WHAT: “State Open Data Policies and Portals,” from the Center for Data Innovation

WHY: Increasingly, states are following feds into the open data space, with varying degrees of success. So far, 10 states have established open data policies, with nine of these offering portals to host government data sets. Some states focus data disclosures around contracts, spending, and legislation. Typically, these aren't quite as robust as open data policies because the information isn't presented in machine readable format, or because it focuses on narrow topic areas. A few cities, including Philadelphia, Burlington, Vt., and South Bend, Ind., have open data policies that could serve as templates for adoption at the state level.

The Center for Data Innovation at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation came up with a score sheet to grade all 50 states in their open data efforts, based on whether a policy is in place, what kind of data is available, and the presence and usability of a data portal. States with robust open data policies, whether instituted by executive order or legislation, scored highest. Leaders include Texas, Maryland, Utah, Hawaii and New York. The bottom of the open data heap includes Massachusetts, Alabama, Louisiana, Kansas and Wyoming.

VERBATIM: "Given the significant opportunities that open data presents, all states should be developing open data policies and portals as an initial step towards greater use of open data. States creating new open data policies or portals, or refreshing old ones, have many opportunities to learn from the experiences of early adopters."

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is FCW's senior staff writer, and covers Congress, health IT and governmentwide IT policy. Connect with him on Twitter: @thisismaz.

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