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This edition of Data Transparency News reports on DATA Demo Day on May 16, a Institute of Energy Research survey on Transparency, and the Sunlight Foundation's Transparency Camp. 

Data Transparency News
Google, Microsoft, EMC, Informatica & Coalition Members to Demonstrate Transparency through Technology at May 16 DATA Demo Day 

On May 16, at 10am, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will host a public "DATA Demonstration Day" to show how today’s data technologies could illuminate waste and fraud, improve federal management, and enhance taxpayer accountability if federal spending data were fully standardized and published, as would be required by the proposed Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act). From sector leaders like Microsoft, Google, and Coalition member Teradata to ambitious start ups like Poplicus, companies will demonstrate how the DATA Act would allow their innovative data search, publication, and analysis tools to “connect Big Data to Big Government.” Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and the public will meet in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building for live presentations from more than twenty technology companies.
 
Coalition member Teradata will show how data standards, such as common electronic identifiers for Medicaid recipients, have already saved taxpayer dollars at the state level. The Michigan government uses a Teradata warehouse to avoid spending Medicaid dollars on medical procedures that are already covered by private insurance plans and to detect claims submitted on behalf of deceased patients. The DATA Act would require the federal government to adopt common electronic identifiers for grantees and contractors, allowing for similar government-wide waste and fraud detection.
 
Coalition member IPHIX will show how the DATA Act’s data standards could connect federal records on loan guarantee recipients with regulatory filings by the same companies, allowing watchdogs to detect risks like the ones that caused the high-profile bankruptcy of solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.
 
Coalition member WebFilings will draw on its experience streamlining public companies’ financial reporting processes to show how federal grantees and contractors could save time and money creating filings if Congress consolidates assistance and procurement reporting via the DATA Act.
 
Companies confirmed to present at the DATA Demo Day include:

  • 3 Round Stones
  • Adaptive (Coalition Regular Member)
  • Cambridge Semantics
  • Elder Research (Coalition Individual Member)
  • EMC
  • ESRI
  • Google
  • Informatica
  • IPHIX (Coalition Regular Member)
  • Level One Technologies (Coalition Regular Member)
  • Microsoft and Unissant
  • Oracle
  • Oversight Systems
  • Poplicus
  • SAS
  • Smartronix (Coalition Regular Member)
  • Socrata
  • Spikes Cavell
  • Tableau Software
  • Teradata (Coalition Executive Member)
  • Waze
  • WebFilings (Coalition Regular Member)
 
The DATA Demo Day will begin on Thursday, May 16 at 10:00 am in the first-floor foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building, facing Independence Avenue, and will be open to the public. The Oversight Committee has invited members of the media to RSVP to the Committee at ali.ahmad@mail.house.gov


 
 
Ninety-One Percent of Voters: Taxpayer-Funded Data Should Be Public
 
On May 1, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) released the results of a survey that shows a striking public consensus about the need for transparency. In the survey of 800 registered voters, 91% of respondents felt that taxpayer-funded studies and data should be made public. Meanwhile, 80% agreed that it is possible for the government to keep personal records confidential while still releasing the substance of government studies.
 
IER President Thomas J. Pyle commented, “Rarely do Americans agree on an issue as much as they do on government transparency. The fact that 90 percent of the respondents believe that information used in government decision-making should be made public is very telling. … The American people want and should have access to information that will enable them to hold government accountable.”


Transparency Campers Help Coalition Brainstorm an Open Data Legislative Agenda 

On May 4-5, more than 600 transparency activists and advocates gathered in Washington D.C. for the Sunlight Foundation's annual Transparency Camp (TCamp). Structured as an "unconference" , TCamp allowed attendees, also called TCampers, to set the schedule and lead sessions. Unsurprisingly, with attendees setting the agenda, the agenda highlighted the need for government data transparency. 
 
Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition, led a session titled "Creating a Legislative Agenda for Open Data." More than two dozen TCampers joined to help expand upon and refine a comprehensive wish list for new laws to standardize and publish all U.S. federal data – throughout the spending, management, regulatory, legislative, and judicial domains. The participants put forth basic principles of open data, discussed ways to categorize the areas where open data is needed, and agreed that government data, however standardized and published, must be “navigable.” 

 
TCamp provided an ethepad for each session so participants could take notes to be shared with those who couldn't attend the session. The etherpad for the Coalition’s agenda-setting session is available here. Other data transparency sessions included: Who is making money off open data?; Open Government Data Standards; Open Access to Federally Funded Academic Research; and Open Data Standards Advocacy. A full list of sessions and links to the ether boards are available here
Data Transparency Coalition


Members

Executive
Teradata Corporation

Regular
Adaptive
IPHIX
Level One Technologies
RR Donnelley
Smartronix
WebFilings

Trade Association
Object Management Group 
XBRL US

Individual and Nonprofit
Ryan Alfred, BrightScope
Oscar Hackett, BrightScope
Isaiah Goodall, Elder Research
Mark Klinski
Joseph Kull, PwC
Maryland Association of CPAs
StockSmart
Suzanne Morsfield 

Advisors

Mike Atkin
Greg Bateman
Gila Bronner
Timothy Day
Earl Devaney
Eric Gillespie
Jim Harper
Beth Noveck
Campbell Pryde

About Us

The Data Transparency Coalition is the only trade association that advocates data reform for the U.S. federal government. The Coalition brings together companies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals to support policies that require federal agencies to publish their data online, using machine-readable, nonproprietary data standards.
Copyright © 2013 Data Coalition, All rights reserved.
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