Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma and Utah lead the nation in open data initiatives, according to a report released today (Aug. 18) by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Data Innovation. The State Open Data Policies and Portals report scored all 50 states on their open data policy and portal efforts, and it offers advice to those looking to improve.

The top states all scored the maximum of eight points on the center's rating scale. Eight states -- including Alaska, Alabama, Kansas and Massachusetts -- were ranked at the bottom of the list with just one point. Points were awarded for having an open data portal and open data policy, and further points were awarded for the quality of those efforts. States with statewide data policies were scored higher than states that simply contain cities that have created open data policies.

The report shows that 10 states have open data policies today, which were all established either by executive order or legislation. Five of those open data policies were established in the past two years. Open data portals are offered by 24 states.

The report recommends that all states develop open data policies and portals as an initial step toward reaping the “significant opportunities that open data presents.” The report also recommends that states without open data policies look at early adopters for guidance, and to consider modifying existing transparency legislation as a stepping-stone toward the creation of an open data policy, which is how some states, like Utah, approached the challenge.

The full State Open Data Policies and Portals report can be found online at the Center for Data Innovation’s website.

Colin Wood Colin Wood  |  Staff Writer

Colin has been writing for Government Technology since 2010. He lives in Seattle with his wife and their dog. He can be reached at cwood@govtech.com and on Google+.