Presentation to PA Assoc. of Nonprofit Organizations

Open records_logo stackedYesterday, I took part in the fall conference of the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations. I hosted a seminar called “New Data Resources” and spoke about the Right-to-Know Law, the open data movement, and related topics.

My thanks to PANO for for inviting me to speak.

Here’s the presentation I used:
Pennsylvania Assoc. of Nonprofit Organizations – Sept. 13, 2016 – PPTX
Pennsylvania Assoc. of Nonprofit Organizations – Sept. 13, 2016 – PDF

Pennsylvania’s Open Data Portal

Pennsylvania’s Open Data Portal officially opened last week.

Users can find data on a variety of topics, including:

At this point, datasets are available from eight state departments, including the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Human Services. More datasets are on the way.

As I said earlier this year when Governor Tom Wolf announced the open data initiative, Pennsylvania’s embrace of open data will lead to exciting opportunities for taxpayers, academics, and businesses. Experience in other states and regions has proven that good things happen when the government provides open data — data that’s free to be downloaded, used, and redistributed — in a comprehensive, organized way.

I also hope the state’s open data portal will encourage more counties, school districts, and municipalities to take similar steps. Even if a local agency doesn’t have the resources to develop a full-blown open data portal, making more public information instantly available online has many benefits.

Open Data Initiative for Pennsylvania

Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf announced an open data initiative for Pennsylvania, something I’m very excited about. I’ll have more to say on this in the coming months, but for now here’s the Governor’s complete press release (and here’s a link to the Executive Order he signed).

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Governor Wolf Announces Open Data Initiative to Engage Citizens in Innovative Policy Solutions

April 19, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf signed an executive order today to release agency data to the public in open, machine readable formats.

“One of our most valuable and underutilized resources in state government is data,” said Governor Wolf. “Our goal is to make data available in order to engage citizens, create economic opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs, and develop innovative policy solutions that improve program delivery and streamline operations.”

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