Selecting and Publishing Value-Added Data

Now that Iowa DATAshare is up and running, agencies should think about what data to publish on the site. Agencies should start with data that brings value to our citizens, legislators and other state officials. With data, value is often associated with its usefulness, whether it be towards decision-making, policy development, or better understanding of how the work of agency impacts our citizens' lives. The bottom line is that data will have no value if it is not used. So how do you get started? The following provides some suggested steps:

  • Identify data or types of information that is often requested
  • Recognize groups who typically use the data, and how they use it - so you can ensure the data contains what they need
  • Decide how the data is best grouped or categorized for easier understanding
  • Think about how granular the data should be, and how it will help to present the data in different ways
  • Determine how frequently the data should be updated - to ensure it is current and relevant to those who need it
  • Define different ways to present the data to make the data more meaningful and understandable
  • Establish the data source, and steps necessary to obtain the data

While this is not an exhaustive list, it will help get you started in supporting and contributing to the State's open data site.

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