Illustration by Oliver Munday
When the Data Transparency Coalition was founded by Teradata and other companies in 2012
, its goal was to build a broad membership base of technology companies. The founders believed that industry supporters could join forces with nonprofit data transparency advocates, such as the Sunlight Foundation, to successfully pursue crucial policy changes.
It was clear, then as now, that unless tech companies actively supported the transformation of government information from disconnected documents into open data, reforms like the DATA Act wouldn't happen. Slowly in 2012, then faster in 2013 and 2014, large and small companies joined the Coalition, embracing the DATA Act to transform federal spending
and similar reforms to transform other areas of government information. Thanks to this growth, the DATA Act became law
in May 2014.
In January 2015, the Coalition announced an ambitious policy agenda
covering three areas: government management, markets and economy, and law and regulation. The Data Transparency Agenda
included (1) fully implementing the DATA Act, (2) pursuing legislation to transform financial regulatory reporting
, and (3) attacking legislative and judicial information in the same way. The success of the Data Transparency Agenda would require larger efforts, more support, and more members.
In recent months, the necessary support has been building. The Coalition has been thrilled to welcome the following new and upgraded corporate members:
- February 2015: GovPATH, Socrata (upgrade), Booz Allen Hamilton (upgrade)
- March 2015: Xcential, LexisNexis
- April 2015: REI Systems, Global IDs, Ez-XBRL (upgrade), Posiba, FindTheBest
- May 2015: BackOffice Associates, Grant Thornton, BCL Technologies
- June 2015: Fujitsu, CohnReznick, StreamLink Software (upgrade)
Coalition members don't merely enable the Coalition's work with their financial support. By investing their time to engage with policymakers, participate in events like the DATA Act Summit, and demonstrate solutions, they make the essential case for transforming government information into standardized, open data. Coalition members' solutions can republish, analyze, and automate government information, building new value for citizens, investors, and government itself - but only if that information is expressed as open data instead of disconnected documents.