Delaware is the latest in a long line of states to announce an open data portal that promises new access to a host of the jurisdiction’s most sought after information.
Gov. Jack Markell officially unveiled the new portal — data.delaware.gov — on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The new resource marks the culmination of more than 10 months of work to provide a one-stop access point to the state’s most requested data.
In January, the second-term governor signed Executive Order 57 mandating a state open data clearinghouse to contain data sets from 10 state agencies. Socrata facilitated the creation of the public-facing website and its backend infrastructure.
"We are so excited that Gov. Markell issued Executive Order 57 for open data because what it did, in my mind as CIO, it really brought key agencies to the table to talk about a couple things," CIO James Collins told Government Technology. "One, sharing data among state government — you hear a lot about analytics and business intelligence, so I feel like we're laying the groundwork there."
The new, streamlined information source boasts more than 30 nonpersonal data sets ranging from mortality rates and child poverty statistics to restaurant inspections and traffic counts.
In some cases, the information can be mapped to provide a clearer picture of the target data.
While open data websites have become fairly commonplace in recent years, open data proponents maintain that simply putting data online does not mark a successful transparency effort; data must be continually added to and updated as well.
It is unclear at this point how often Delaware will add new data to its system.