Socrata, Inc.

Socrata, Inc.

July 14, 2010 11:00 ET

Socrata Announces the 2010 Open Government Data Benchmark Study

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - July 14, 2010) - Socrata, Inc., a leading advocate and technology enabler of Open Data today announced it will launch the inaugural Open Government Data Benchmark Study on July 21, 2010. This study will offer insights into the state of Open Government Data from three perspectives: data producers and publishers in federal, state and local governments; civically-engaged data consuming citizens; and programmers who aim to build civic applications based on open, public data.

Open Data in government is a part of a growing movement where enlightened policy encourages the use of cloud computing, web 2.0 and social technologies to promote government transparency and citizen participation. Thought leaders from across the policy and technology spectrum have long advocated for a more open government and more accessible government data. The driving force behind Open Government Data is the belief that data is a strategic asset that should be shared with the public to increase government accountability, drive efficiencies and stimulate economic growth.

In the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, issued on January 21, 2009, President Obama outlined the broad strokes for an Open Government Policy, based on transparency, participation and collaboration. Since then, there has been steady progress towards a more open federal government, including such milestones as the one-year anniversary of data.gov, the federal government's primary Open Data site.

Federal Open Data initiatives have had very positive spillover effects across the country. Many forward-thinking state and local governments, including San Francisco, Washington DC, the State of Utah, Seattle and Chicago have embraced the Open Data movement in policy and in action. Their data sites are blazing the trail for what's to come when governments fully realize the strategic value of their data assets and start sharing public data with their constituents.

Open Government Data also enables software developers to build citizen-facing applications and create new interfaces into government using open, standards-based Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This type of innovation has already been proven in location-based services where the convergence of social media, web 2.0 and publicly available GPS data has made it possible for developers and entrepreneurs to create valuable, new industries.

Socrata has commissioned the Open Government Data Benchmark Study to gauge how this nascent movement is changing attitudes and expectations towards Open Data, both within government and among its data-consuming constituents. The study also aims to establish a benchmark for the use of technology to enable Open Data initiatives beyond the experimentation phase. "The focus of this study is to understand how technology can become an instrument for a better democracy," Says Kevin Merritt, CEO of Socrata. "Our cloud-based, turnkey Open Data platform is uniquely suited for publishing, consuming and socializing data on a massive scale. Every day, we see tremendous opportunities for our technology to unlock these public data assets to advance both our democracy and our economy. In this study, we're trying to better understand the needs and constraints of data publishers, data consumers and application developers so we can move past the downloadable CSV and start realizing the full potential of Open Data."

The Open Government Data Benchmark Study will commence on July 21, 2010. Socrata welcomes participation in this study by interested Open Government Data advocacy and/or media partners.

About Socrata
Socrata, Inc. - Making Data Social™ - based in Seattle, Washington, is the world leader in social data discovery, a category of Web solutions that enable national, state, and local governments to achieve new levels of transparency and citizen participation while significantly lowering the costs of serving online data. Socrata is a private company with venture financing from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To experience Socrata Social Data Discovery, visit http://www.socrata.com. To learn more about Socrata's Social Data Platform, visit http://www.socrata.com/solution.

Socrata, Making Data Social, Social Data Platform, Social Data Player and Socrata Open Data API are trademarks of Socrata, Inc. All other product and company names may be trademarks of their respective companies.

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