All in Transparency

A Project Manager's Perspective on the GAO’s Federal Data Transparency Report

While improving data transparency for both financial and non-financial data is an important goal, any effort requiring an enterprise level shift in data formats or associated business processes can also require a substantial early peak in required resources. If in fact we need to delay implementing data transparency programs, perhaps we can use our time wisely by doing a more detailed job of research and planning.

Understanding How Open Data Reaches the Public

In the long run, traditional top-down efforts at management control may be insufficient to ensure that both agency goals and the potential benefits of open data access — including unanticipated cponsequences — are realized in an efficient and cost effective manner. While leadership by the Federal government’s IT infrastructure will be necessary, it will also be necessary to ensure that ongoing efforts to advance open data access are managed efficiently both across agencies and in accordance with individual agency and program priorities; IT staff cannot do this on their own and will have to work closely with agency management.
It may be that the greatest challenge facing private entrepreneurs in developing new and valuable information products and services based at least partially on public data will be public resistance to paying for information, no matter how new, innovative, or unique these producrts or services are.

The State of Government Data Transparency, 2013

What I found most interesting and useful about the Data Transparency 2013 conference held September 10 in Washington DC was the diversity. The ability of Hudson Hollister’s Data Transparency Coalition to bring together such a high-quality group of speakers and attendees representing so many different perspectives was quite an accomplishment.
The bottom line: in a post-smartphone era, the more we know where our data are and how they are used the better off we are. Network companies — or governments — that resist making such data more accessible will be disadvantaged in the marketplace. Users of networks that ignore the interests of their customers will likewise be disadvantaged.

Perspectives on the NSA and PRISM: What Dyson Missed

In NSA: The Decision Problem George Dyson lays out a credible historical view on why he thinks what Snowden revealed about the NSA and PRISM was inevitable. While it’s certainly a pleasure to read a discussion of these issues that is so thoughtful, I think he misses one major theme that helps us understand our current predicament over what to do about Snowden.

How Our Increasing Digital Connectedness Improves Government Program Evaluation

There will always be a need to conduct formal evaluations of how well government programs perform. Such evaluations must take into account the complexity of programs and the need to distinguish among short term and long term impacts and the intervening conditions that also impact program effectiveness.