The Center for Data Innovation and the Sunlight Foundation organized a panel discussion highlighting the impact of open data across education, health care, international development, and other fields.
Government agencies collect a vast amount of data that has the potential to usher in large-scale social benefits, but these agencies must ensure that their data is not locked up. By making their data freely available without restrictions, government agencies can enable individuals and private organizations to leverage public data’”including weather information, maps, legal filings, financial statements, health indicators, and education metrics’”to make the world a better place. This includes efforts to build sustainable communities, coordinate disaster response, improve health and educational outcomes, reduce crime and recidivism, and strengthen accountability in the public and private sector. Already, a wide variety of organizations and individuals have driven social change using government data that has been made available for reuse.