Data

FindTheBest launches federal-agency spending tool

abstract image of money

The market for government data is getting increasingly democratized as companies find ways to dislodge and repackage federal information. For example, the subscription-based government contract opportunities site Govini offers detailed information and analytics on contracts and spending that was once the province of expensive service firms. Now a free, ad-supported service is trying to tackle a related space.

The online research company FindTheBest.com has launched a new federal-agency spending portal that is aimed at the general public. The company mines data from USASpending.gov to create spending profiles for federal agencies that don't require any specialized knowledge or government experience to navigate.

The site is less for contractors and others in industry who might subscribe to premium services than for citizens looking to educate themselves on where their tax dollars go, or academics or journalists doing research. In addition to searching for data, users can build charts and graphs, and export them to insert into webpages.

"I tried to make it as clear as possible for the users. I want people who hopefully don't know anything about government spending to know what's going in," product manager Nina Quattrochhi said in an interview with FCW.

The agency spending tool joins resources on government grants and contracting at FindTheBest, which collectively attract about 100,000 visitors per month, according to Quattrochhi. Ultimately, she sees the entire government suite garnering as many as a million monthly visitors. Overall, the network of sites gets 25 million visits per month. The grants and contracting tool relies on data from the FedBizOpps.gov website and Grants.gov.

Right now, the site is able to offer data on obligated funds, but not expenditures. However, as implementation of the Data Act proceeds, payment level information will become available in machine-readable format, greatly enhancing the level of detail offered by FindTheBest, as well as other sites that rely on federal spending data.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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