On Monday, the Malloy administration launched the new Connecticut Open Data Portal, a free, public database that that will publish large amounts of data collected across all government agencies on the internet.
The new data portal, which will fall under the watch of the Office of Policy and Management, is the face of a major effort by the Malloy administration to increase transparency and openness between the people of Connecticut and their government.
The information will appear on the database in what the administration is calling the \”rawest form;\” before the data has been made to look pretty (aggregated and analyzed) by government bureaucrats and officials.
“Sharing data collected by state government will help to break down silos within government, make data more easily available for analysis by researchers and entrepreneurs, and in turn help spur economic growth and creative new policy,” said Governor Malloy in a statement after signing the executive order in February. “This data belongs to the people of Connecticut, and this initiative will help make that data more easily and conveniently accessible to them.”
The hope is that anyone from university professors to budding entrepreneurs can use the publicly available government data to enhance a business venture, academic study, and everything in between. The online portal will also give residents the chance to visualize data through graphs and charts, which one can create on the website.
On the issue of transparency, some Senate Republicans were raising an eyebrow back in February when the gov. signed his executive order.
\”First of all, the OPM is not non-partisan, it\’s a partisan staff – another arm of the Governor. You\’ve gotta have some concern about this data and how it\’s being presented,\” said Republican Senator Leonard Fasano, North Haven, speaking on behalf of the Senate Minority.
\”If we\’re gonna talk about transparency, let\’s start with the budget. The Governor should be transparent about the fact that he\’s spending more than 2.8 billion in state expenditures instead of fooling people with some transparent data gimmick,\” Fasano added.
\”If we\’re gonna have transparency we need to have it at all levels – let\’s first talk about the budget.\”
The state contracted Socrata, Inc, a Seattle based data company that uses cloud and other technology to build public data bases, to create the Connecticut Open Data Portal. The portal will be managed and administered by Tyler Kleykamp of the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), who will serve as the portal’s Chief Data Officer (CDO).