Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

What’s Your State’s Open Data Score?

(Center for Data Innovation – open data score map)

Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah scored the highest in an assessment of state open data policies and portals by the Center for Data Innovation.

The report from the Center for Data Innovation- which is affiliated with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation –  scored states, with points issued based on whether they had state-wide open data policies or a city that had one, whether they had open data portals or transparency portals as well certain factors about their open data policies and portals, like machine-readability and whether policies extended to all government data or just certain types.

The six states mentioned above had a total score of eight points, which is the most they could receive. They have open data policies and those policies require portals to publish basic government data and other agency data and also be machine readable, according to the report.

“The corresponding portals contain extensive catalogs of open data, are relatively simple to navigate, and provide data in machine-readable formats,” the report states.

The states that scored the lowest – with a combined total of one point – were: Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming. No states received a score of zero.

Nearly all of these states had no open data policy in place and had a transparency portal in place, as opposed to an open data portal.

“Open data portals are relatively easy to distinguish from transparency websites because transparency sites tend to offer only financial and expenditure information, provide fewer if any machine readability options, and offer other state agency information only through links if at all,” the report states.

The report also notes that most states that scored in the middle “offer open data portals but no clear open data policies.”

Here’s why the report thinks having both a detailed open data policy and open data portals that provide data in machine-readable formats and through a single location are important:

The purpose of open data portals is to provide government accountability and data that can be used for socially and economically beneficial purposes, and they are more likely to continue to be updated and maintained if they are backed up by state policies, just as policies are more likely to be effective if there is a place to publish the data they require.

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