Socrata, Inc.

Socrata, Inc.

August 26, 2010 08:01 ET

Socrata Asks Government Employees to Voice Opinions on Transparency of Government Data

Socrata, Sunlight Foundation, Personal Democracy Forum, GovLoop and Code for America Team Up to Benchmark the State of Open Data

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - Aug. 26, 2010) - Socrata, Inc., together with leading public advocacy organizations, is surveying government employees about the progress of Open Data initiatives in federal, state and local governments. Socrata is a leading technology enabler of Open Data Services for government.

Are you a government employee? If so help assess the state of Open Data in government and shape its future by taking a survey at: Now is your chance to let your voice be heard.

This survey, part of the Open Government Data Benchmark Study, is open to government employees at the federal, state and local levels until Labor Day weekend.

Ellen Miller, Co-Founder and Executive Director at the Sunlight Foundation says, "We are at a pivotal stage in the evolution of data transparency in government. This study is a great opportunity to understand the dynamics affecting all the key stakeholders and constructively discuss how to better support this fundamental shift in our democracy."

Socrata has teamed up with several influential organizations and thought-leaders for the study. "We are honored to be joined in this effort by The Sunlight Foundation, The Personal Democracy Forum, GovLoop, Code for America and public policy expert, David Eaves. The enthusiastic support shows this benchmark study is needed in order to provide actionable insight into the state of Open Data in government and give all participants an opportunity to help shape its evolution." says Kevin Merritt, Socrata Founder and CEO.

The questions in this survey cover a range of topics including: motivations for Open Data initiatives; what obstacles hinder progress; how the public accesses data; and what data is considered most important to make public.

This study marks the first time that government stakeholders, mainstream citizens and civic application developers are all invited to share their perspectives on the nascent Open Data movement in order to gauge changing attitudes and expectations towards Open Data, both within government and among its data-consuming constituents.

In the first phase of this study, Socrata commissioned leading market research firm, Vision Critical, to conduct a public survey of 1,000 nationally representative adults in the United States. The public survey has been completed and the focus now shifts to surveying government stakeholders, followed by civic application developers in the coming weeks. The full findings of the study will be released once the surveys are completed.

The following advocacy organizations and Government 2.0 thought leaders are joining Socrata in conducting this important study:

Sunlight Foundation

The Sunlight Foundation is a non-partisan non-profit that uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable. Visit to learn more about Sunlight's projects, including and

Personal Democracy Forum

Personal Democracy Forum is a series of annual conferences held in New York City, Barcelona, and Santiago, Chile focused on how technology is changing politics, government, and civil society. The community of people who attend the conferences and who read the associated Personal Democracy Forum blogs are technologists, political leaders, social entrepreneurs, political activists, journalists, and academics, who are deeply engaged in the process of building new ways of looking at and solving problems in the 21st century. For more information please visit:

Code for America

Code for America helps city governments become more transparent, connected and efficient by connecting the talents of cutting-edge web developers with people who deliver city services and want to embrace the transformative power of the web to achieve more impact with less money. Inspired in part by Teach for America, CFA works with city officials and leading web development talent to identify and then develop web solutions that can then be shared and rolled out more broadly to cities across America. For more information please visit:


GovLoop is the "Facebook for Government" - the premier social network connecting over 30,000 government innovators from federal, state, and local government. The community is a great resource for all people in and around government, whether they are looking to connect with peers, collaborate on projects or discover career-building opportunities. GovLoop is the place to be for today's government leaders. For more information please visit:

David Eaves

David is a public policy entrepreneur, open government activist and negotiation expert. David is retained by several governments to advise on open government and open data, works with two spin-offs of the Harvard Negotiation Project and serves as a fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen's University. For more information about David, please visit:

About Socrata

Socrata, Inc. (Socrata), is the proven leader in Open Data Services, a category of Web solutions that enable federal, state, and local governments like Medicare, State of Washington and City of Seattle to dramatically improve the reach, usability and usefulness of public data while lowering the costs of serving large datasets and managing large-scale federated data catalogs.

Socrata develops, operates and licenses the most comprehensive set of commercial Open Data Services including:

  • Socrata Social Data Platform™: a cloud-based, turnkey solution that enables data publishers to provide a universally accessible and engaging data-consumption experience, delivered within configurable, branded datasites.
  • Socrata Social Data Player™: makes it easy to embed and propagate any Socrata-hosted dataset across the Web while maintaining source fidelity and full interactivity.
  • Socrata Open Data API (SODA): a freely-distributed, open, standards-based, non-proprietary application programming interface that extends the value of the platform to developers to build data integrations and civic applications.

Socrata is a private company, based in Seattle, Washington, with venture financing from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit

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