McClure: Data Organization Key to Citizen Engagement


The government’s biggest challenge when it comes to open government and citizen engagement is not finding organization data to publish, but organizing it in exciting ways that are also instantly usable, GSA Associate Administrator for the Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies Dave McClure said at Wednesday’s FedScoop Citizen Engagement & Open Government Summit at the Newseum.

“Information is now self-service oriented,” McClure said, “and the user wants information in as close to real-time as possible along with the tools to manipulate it, so our job is to give that to them.”


More highlights from McClure’s keynote address:

  • The government needs to put information on the Web where people expect it, allowing them to answer nearly all questions within one click of the homepage.
  • Social media has created a new way for people to share information, so the government needs to take advantage and have the presentation of data be a two-way dialogue to get feedback on how well government is serving its clients.
  • Static information presentations are going out of date real fast.
  • The government used to avoid presentations that were not government-owned, but projects like have given a rise to third-party applications or tools that are allowing consumers to show off the data that is interesting to them in exciting ways.
  • For government to best interact with citizens, it needs to avoid the “acronym gazoo” and keep things as simple, easy and efficient as possible.
  • Visualization and analytics are key to engaging citizens when dealing with government data.
  • When organizing data think mobile. Even though the government has 100s of mobile apps out, there is plenty of room for more.

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