Intersection of technology, data & policy

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The availability of raw data and the technology to sort through it has made waves in industry decision making. Soon, new technologies could change the way that decisions are made in government.

“In order to transform that whole landscape, we need changes in legislation, we need reforms like the Financial Transparency Act, we need new technologies like XML and blockchain to replace paper‑based reporting with electronic and we need policy changes.” said Hudson Hollister, executive director at Data Coalition. “That’s the part that gets overlooked quite a bit. We need agencies to adopt consistent data formats and data fields. When they mean the same thing, the data should be the same. Only when you’ve got all three can we transform the whole landscape.”

According to Hollister, many agencies have antiquated or uninformed policies that prevent them from using data observations to make decisions.

“We need agencies to take all of this information that they are already collecting and organize it,” Hollister said. “The chief data officers in the regulatory agencies, the ones that actually have them, are dealing with this every day. They’ve got to convince their business leaders who may not be experts in data to sign off on data policy.”