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All you need is…data?

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"What's this? Data on GSA hiring times? That's much better than 'Octopus' Garden.' "

"What's all this, then? Data on GSA hiring times? That's much better than 'Octopus's Garden.' "

Look, we at FedLine are as fond of open government as the next business-of-federal-government-themed blog. But even we had to raise our eyebrows at this blog headline from White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra: “They Gave Us The Beatles, We Gave Them Data.gov.” *

Kundra’s blog isn’t actually about the Beatles, however. It’s more about how the British government took a cue from us Yanks and today launched its own site pulling together all its reports and raw data. Kundra says that states and cities around the world are also launching their own data aggregation sites:

All of these sites are dedicated to breaking down longstanding barriers between governments and the people they serve — facilitating collaboration and transforming dry data into tools that can improve people’s lives.

* Nothing against Kundra’s efforts, but I’d say we got the better end of this alleged Beatles/Data.gov swap. Although it is certainly nice to have stats on the operating capacity of nuclear reactors and private-sector job patterns for minorities and women in readily available Excel files, I don’t know if they stack up to “A Day In The Life.”

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Comments

  1. MBG Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    THis other UK site:
    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/glance/
    looks much more useful—in part because data actually is presented in some context. This trendy fetishising “data for data’s sake” is rather unfortunate and naive.

  2. MBG Says:
    January 22nd, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    PS: this is an excelent summary: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/glance/

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