NextGov reports on the challenges of turning raw government data into commercial products:
- Turning government data into private sector products is complicated business, By Joseph Marks, NextGov (02/09/2012).
“The theory behind Data.gov was, let’s move forward when it comes to sharing data,” says Josh Green, chief executive officer of Panjiva, a company that crunches customs data for U.S. businesses that import some of their raw materials. “I think that’s right in terms of what would be good for entrepreneurship, but realistically I don’t think that has filtered down to the agency level.” While Panjiva relies on some Census data, which it downloads directly from the Census Bureau, the company uses mostly Customs and Border Protection data on CD-ROMs that it pays to have delivered every day by FedEx.
…Data.gov is laudable, Rossmeissl says, but developers’ biggest hurdle with government data isn’t finding it, but getting it quickly and in a form they can use. “That wasn’t the focus of Data.gov and, in general, it isn’t the focus of agencies producing data,” he says. “That’s not because their intentions aren’t great, but they have a history of producing data in a very specific way that goes back to the Federal Register and quarterly releases.”
…The Data.gov team also meets regularly with about 400 agency “data stewards” to change the way government data is initially created so that it requires less translation and reformatting on the back end.
- The Federal Government Must Reimagine Its Role As An Information Provider.
- Private Sector Supports Public Data.
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