Want to Know How Developers Use Your Agency's Data? Ask Them.

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An upgraded HealthData.gov site will ask users to volunteer what they’re using HHS data for.

Among the mandates in President Obama’s Open Data Policy is a requirement that agencies query the people and companies that use their data to find out what information they’d like released and in what formats.

A proposed upgrade to the HealthData.gov website would go one step further, asking users to volunteer what they’re using Health and Human Services data for, according to a contracting notice posted on Thursday.

The federal government has in the past several years massively increased the amount of raw data it releases to the public, especially following the launch of the governmentwide information trove Data.gov in 2009. Agencies have been slower, though, to gather feedback on how precisely developers are using their data. Data.gov now lists a catalog of some Web and mobile applications built with government data.

The updated HealthData.gov page would include tools that allow users to “voluntarily indicate how they are using data sets” and to “rate the utility or quality of data sets,” according to the contracting document.

The document is a notice that HHS will negotiate a sole source contract for the upgrades with the vendor eGlobal Tech, which also built the original HealthData.gov.

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