By Robert A. Runge // September 3, 2014
Robert A. Runge serves on the board of directors at Socrata, a cloud software company focused on freeing access to public sector data.
Let’s start with the obvious -- government data is unique in the world of data.
The data that’s garnered the most attention over the past generation -- a generation, by the way, that has witnessed the revolution of information technology -- has obsessively focused on running, managing, automating and organizing enterprises in an effort to wring out every last drop of business transaction and process efficiency.
We’ve also seen scientific data in the spotlight, especially in the realm of database management and, more recently, big data.
But government data is completely different.
Because it’s about running society -- not a business unit or a scientific research inquiry.
And given this vast social context, I believe we need an operating system for government data that will unlock this long-sequestered information and open it to the public -- to citizens, communities and companies all over the world.
This is the driving force behind today’s open data movement.
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