AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Tag: Open Data for Public Good

Celebrating the OPEN Government Data Act

This week, the bipartisan Open, Permanent, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act officially became law in the United States, requiring that non-sensitive data produced by US federal agencies be made publicly available in non-propriety and machine-readable formats by default. We have long supported this legislative proposal since it was first introduced in 2016, and commend both the Congressional leaders and the Administration for their commitment to making open data a priority.

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Best Practices in Ethical Data-Sharing: An Interview with Natalie Evans Harris

The AWS Institute interviewed Natalie Evans Harris, co-founder and CEO of BrightHive and former senior policy advisor to the US Chief Technology Officer in the Obama administration. Harris founded the Data Cabinet, a federal data science community of practice with over 200 active members across more than 40 federal agencies, co-led a cohort of federal, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations to develop data-driven tools through the Opportunity Project, and established the Open Skills Community through the Workforce Data Initiative. She also led an analytics development center for the National Security Agency (NSA) that served as the foundation for NSA’s Enterprise Data Science Development program and became a model for other intelligence community agencies.

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How to Share Data (Hint: “Thoughtfully”)

Sharing data requires more than just making it available for download or creating an API to access it. In many ways, sharing data is similar to shipping a software product. Just like software; data is made up of digital information; it requires documentation; it will be used by groups of users who may require support; and it may become vital to those users’ work. Another common characteristic of software is that it often gets updated over time as software developers learn from their users and adapt to new technologies.

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Why Share Data?

As open data policies become commonplace, it is worth examining the history and value of open data, and discuss why we share it in the cloud. The idea of sharing data dates back at least to the 1950s, when the International Council of Scientific Unions established World Data Centers to facilitate sharing of data among scientists. In recent years, governments have created open data policies that require government agencies to share data with the public.

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