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Former Wisconsin CIO Joins Socrata as Senior Vice President of Sales

Matt Miszewski is heading to the open data company as it begins to explore non-open data.

Socrata has scooped up a former state chief information officer to lead its sales team.

That would be Matt Miszewski, who served as Wisconsin’s CIO for about four years in the mid-2000s. During that time, Government Technology put Miszewski on its Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers list, highlighting his work pulling in local government as IT partners while cutting his own budget. From Wisconsin, he went on to work on government practice units for Microsoft and Salesforce.

At Socrata, his title will be senior vice president of sales.

In a press release, the company highlighted its recent move to start serving government agencies for more than just open data. Socrata recently achieved the federal government’s cloud security certification and launched a product aimed at helping agencies do more with internal data.

“As Socrata aggressively expands our cloud solution portfolio across a wide variety of public and employee-facing government data-driven programs, we are pleased to add Matt's deep expertise as a public-sector technology leader to our executive team," Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt said in the statement.

In a Socrata-conducted question-and-answer article, Miszewski said that while he was working for the state of Wisconsin, he actively attempted to connect data siloes so the government could do more.

“My No. 1 attempt to solve the problem was with implementation of open architecture in Wisconsin — to make sure it was easier to get at different data sets inside and across governments,” Miszewski said in the article. “It is still the biggest problem within government. Every state CIO and every federal CIO will tell you that the money they get is simply less effective because they don’t have data-sharing across statewide government. Not only is it the biggest problem but also the biggest cost center.”

Miszewski said he wants to play a part in creating a future where the government connects all the information it needs to on the back end to serve citizens in the way they’ve come to expect. That mission, he said, was enough to bring him back to work instead of heading for retirement.

“Recently, I was in the midst of taking some time off and pretty close to punching the retirement clock to relax with my wife in Carmel, Calif., when Kevin called me,” he said in the article. “My wife and I have an agreement: If my time is going to be spent working, let’s make sure it’s mission-oriented work. Work with a leadership team I believe in and a product that is not just looking to grow but has been oriented to grow from the start. Socrata hit all of these points for me.”

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.