Data Foundation News: April 15, 2016
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Welcome to the first edition of Data Foundation News! Our new organization is a few months old and already has two open data research projects underway, an educational program going live next month, and a major event on the horizon in September. Data Foundation News is going to be your regular source for updates on our work. Enjoy!


Hudson Hollister, Interim President, Data Foundation

Why We're Here

The Data Foundation's primary job, its full-time job, is to create the missing body of research that explains how open data can change things - and illuminate the areas where it doesn't.

The Data Foundation's other tasks flow naturally. We'll run educational programming to teach the skills government leaders need. We'll host events that introduce the different kinds of people who need to know one another to make the open data transformation happen.

Open data is changing the world. But the change could be faster. We're here to speed it up.

Learn more about the Data Foundation here!

Foundation Sponsors Door Stop Awards

On April 12th, the Data Foundation was proud to sponsor the OpenGov Foundation's first-ever Door Stop Awards, recognizing Congressional leaders who worked to open Congress to the public - and then "installed a door stop to ensure that the United States Congress never closes again."

The inaugural awards went to six current and former legislators and staffers who worked together to move the House of Representatives' bills and materials to the XML open data format; pushed for requirements to post legislative language online in advance; changed rules to make social media engagement easier; and founded new caucuses to support further change.

By recognizing these open data transformations, the Data Foundation hopes to build connections between legislative-branch and executive-branch reforms. For example, if Congress adapts its XML structure to connect appropriations bills to the Treasury department's new spending data structure, citizens will be able to electronically track the results of every Congressional spending decision - all the way through the life cycle of spending.

Foundation Sponsors Open Data Day DC

By Josh Tauberer via Medium 

Last month 150 open data enthusiasts gathered in Washington, DC, for Open Data Day DC, a yearly open data event on the same day as more than 200 similarly themed events around the world.

Our two-day event included not only a hackathon but also eight workshops and seven breakout groups covering both technology skills as well as pressing issues like criminal justice reform

The Workshops  

We have had workshops at Open Data Day DC going back to 2013, but this year our workshops were the most ambitious.

As is our tradition, co-organizer Eric Mill ran his intro-to-open-data workshop for the fourth time. We added seven new workshop leaders to the mix:

Introduction to Open Data

Eric’s open data introduction was a technical overview of open data for newcomers to the space. He covered a JSON -> CSV converter that he made, the Sunlight Congress API, the OpenFDA API, the Digital Analytics Program, and Pulse. [slideshandout].

Visualizing DC's Open Data

Kate Rabinowitz presented a high level overview of data visualization, using data about the District. She covered issues in data selection, data transformation, and visualization, and creating maps in CartoDB and data visualizations in Tableau. (slides) Kate runs a fantastic blog called DataLensDC.

Introduction to Data Science

Pri Oberoi and Star Ying — data scientists at the Department of Commerce — lead a hands-on tutorial of data science, including classification and modeling. (slides)

To continue the article, click here

In Washington State, Open Data Reporting Delivers Accuracy and Productivity

When regulatory agencies switch from document-based reports to open data, they don't just make the information more accessible to external users. They also make internal processing easier.

When the Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commission set out to turn its utility report from a PDF document into open data, the agency quickly discovered that its staff could spend less time on transcribing and validating - and more time on substance.

RR Donnelley has published a white paper and video that explain how.


May 3-4: DATA Act Implementation Forum

The Data Foundation is partnering with the Performance Institute to present the first-ever DATA Act Training forum, an opportunity to learn how the DATA Act works, from the experts. Confirmed faculty include former OMB Controller Danny Werfel, former House Oversight chairman Tom Davis, and current Treasury Department leaders.

The DATA Act Training forum will explore the latest guidance on how to standardize spending information. Hands-on sessions will explain how standardization empowers financial analytics and visualizations.

To register, click here
Where: The Performance Institute, 3101 Wilson Blvd, Suite 250, Arlington, Virginia 22201
When: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

September 26: Data Transparency 2016

For the first time, the Data Foundation is hosting Data Transparency 2016. It will be the fourth annual gathering of the most influential U.S. open data leaders. The annual event has been called the "State of the Union" for open data policy. Mark your calendar! 

For all the highlights from Data Transparency 2015, click here. 

Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, DC 20001
When: Wednesday, September 28,  8:00 am - 5:30 pm

Stay tuned for a special announcement, ticketing information and speaker line-up!
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Data Foundation Website

In the News

"The Data Coalition’s research group, called the Data Foundation, plans to work on surveys related to the DATA Act and standardized business reporting, as well as cost-benefit analyses of the adoption of a single standard to identify to companies to replace the proprietary DUNS number. " To continue reading, click here
"At “Open Data Day DC” — a gathering of civic hackers hosted by the open data advocates at the Data Foundation and data portal vendor Socrata — staffers with several city agencies implored attendees to throw their support behind pending legislation to make the city's data more available to the public. " To continue reading, click here
"The new Data Foundation will focus on open data research and education, with an eye toward spreading the reach of the civic tech movement." To continue reading, click here
"The coalition is also launching the Data Foundation, the nation’s first industry-focused open data research organization. The goal: promoting the benefits of transforming government information into standardized, open data." To continue reading, click here


Decision Makers
Booz Allen Hamilton 
Data Tracks
Kearney & Company
RDG Filings
RR Donnelley 

Grant Thornton
Morgan Franklin Consulting


About the Data Foundation
Through research, education, and programming, the Data Foundation supports the publication of government information as standardized, open data.

Copyright © 2016 Data Foundaton, All rights reserved.

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