Dear Fellow Innovator,
Welcome to the fourth edition of Open Innovation. In this issue, we focus on a simple question: What does it mean to be good at open data? By the time you reach the final page of this magazine, we know you will have many new ideas for how to improve upon your open data program.
In our “Community Report” section, you’ll find that being good at open data means serving the community. You’ll see how open data can help manage the impact of a natural disaster. We’ll discuss the return on investment of different open data projects and how that ROI benefits citizens and communities. Finally, we handpick our favorite recent reads in our book review section and highlight power networkers in this edition’s version of the “Open Data Doers Club.”
If you’re curious about “What’s App’ening” in the world of open data, we give you the latest on all things app-related. Learn more about how to best to engage with civic developers in your community by going “Beyond the Hackathon.” See how Caravan Studios is fighting to address childhood hunger with the innovative “Range” app. Learn more about how to meet the needs of taxpayers with 311 services and our new Service Connect app. Finally, Jeff Leek, Associate Professor of Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discusses the importance of cultivating an open data landscape that doesn’t punish openness.
In our “Smarter Government” section, we discuss the practical ways in which government is improving. We take an economist’s view of open data by examining the demand side of the movement. We also examine, very simply, the work going into “Making Open Data Good.” Finally, we profile one of the earliest innovators and biggest leaders of the open data movement in the United States: Governor Martin O’Malley.
Our cover story focuses on “The Three Tenets of Open Data Success.” We hear often that implementing an open data program or initiative can feel daunting. In this article, we divide the most successful open data formulas into three specific parts and explain why and how to maximize each. The rest of our “Open Data in Focus” section examines new breakthroughs in open data. See how the State of Colorado revolutionized the hackathon with the GoCode Colorado event. Last, learn more about how the Open Data Network acts as the catalyst for the next phase of the open data movement.
We finish this issue with a bit of fun. See the latest in data visualizations—the edible kind—in our Q&A with the folks over at “Data Cuisine.” And for a handy reference, give your attention to our “Data Portal Quickstart Guide,” which will help ensure ease of implementation for your open data program.
As always, we welcome your feedback on Open Innovation. Please tell us what you think we should feature next. We want this publication to echo the voice of the open data movement and to inspire your goals.
Socrata Founder and CEO