This month, public sector leaders from around the country gathered to discuss the latest in best practices and trends across digital government. We’ll be bringing you the best of the best, and some of the hot topics taking over the public sector, pulled straight from these conferences over our next few blog posts. So if you didn’t get a chance to attend them all, or are just looking for a pulse on what’s happening right now in digital gov, read on!
The Key to Open Data? Be Nimble
Open data is becoming pervasive in the public sector and we saw various sessions on open data at almost all of the September digital gov conferences we attended. But even though open data increases transparency, drives down costs, and improves economic ability, the act of uncovering and optimizing this data can be a daunting task.
At the National Association of Government Web Professionals (NAGW) conference, Mark Leech Application Development Mgr at City of Albuquerque spoke on this very challenge. Being nimble was key to launching the city’s open data portal: ABQ Data. By using small, flexible in-house teams of 2-4 people, the city was able to roll out one data set, publish it and move on. By avoiding the old model of using a large dedicated open data team and a full-scale roll out, they are able to spin up data sets quickly.
“Do now, then do right. Get a little something out there and iterate. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” – Mark Leech, City of Albuquerque
And the nimble method works. One year after launching their transit data sets, eight 3rd party apps have been developed, solving a myriad of common problems faced by commuters. That translates into a 25% reduction in transit inquires to city offices, saving $160k per year.
The city is now able to empower people and businesses to use over 40 data sets to solve their own problems. The key to getting started? Ask people what data they want. Mark commented on this shift to citizen-centric data offerings, “the status quo for the way we do business has to change. We have to be relevant to the user.”
GovDelivery staff love attending these events, as it gives us a chance to connect with customers, present the trends we are seeing in outreach and keep a pulse on what’s happening in your world. Want to see us at your next event? Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week we’ll cover another pervasive trend from the fall conference lineup – communicating with mobile – stay tuned!