From Open Data to Community Data
2 years ago

It is known that, the United States cities face a critical challenge satisfying the potential of open data; which is moving beyond the simple provision of data access to likely possibility of stakeholder utilization of data in ways which lead to community impact. Today, there is a new approach to open data in different U.S. cities which is called as “Tactical Data Engagement,” which is designed to push community impact by joining the dots between open data, collaborative action and public stakeholders.


It is seen that, many city leaders have realized the valuable nature of open data to invoke a new kind of relationship between the people and the government, and an environment where the government works in collaboration with the public. Also, city mayors, council members, managers and other leaders are offering commitments to this promising idea in the U.S., and over 60 US cities have adopted data reforms since 2006.  While cities are planning to build the public policy infrastructure especially for open data, they are also aiming to make technical advancements for municipal IT as well as innovation departments procure new open data portals and liberate more and more government datasets online.


Rise of Community Data

In the recent years, there has been rising momentum around opening government data. Forced due to “civic hackers,” initiatives like the President’s Open Government Executive Order as well as nonprofits like Code for America, are fueling new tools and enterprises for improving the lives of the people in ways which cannot be thought of. For example: the weather app present on your phone might be using data collected from all across the globe by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Moreover, the scale and usefulness of government’s “Big Data” or open data platforms are quite similar to roadways, runways and railways.


Collaborative Effort

In order to formulate a proper approach to help cities with their open data programs, Sunlight has been successfully conducting a broad review of the appropriate literature on open data impact, and the literature on approaches to community stakeholder involvement and co-creation. The prime inspiration from the segment of urban planning highlights low-cost and temporary physical interventions in the built environment which have assisted an iteratively co-created conception for a city. Moreover, case studies at the local level have been analyzed and learned from hard work in the federal government such as The Opportunity Project.  


Wider Concepts

It has been found out that, in order to fully meet their goals the cities have to shift their sights beyond the concept of just ‘access’. It is observed that most data initiatives, aim for public stakeholders for utilizing data productively. Cities wish to do more with their data by recruiting the help of community actors, and above all, they want open data to pour an impact. With Tactical Data Engagement, a process has been laid and begun to accumulate tactics that we believe will help them do that in a better and satisfactory way.

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