White House: Here’s how to hold an open data event

So you are responsible for promoting your agency’s open data, but you don’t know how to get it in front of people who can figure out good ways to use it.

The White House is willing to give you a nudge in the right direction: Its Office of Science and Technology Policy has created a guide for anyone looking to host events geared toward leveraging open data.

Last week, OSTP released the starter guide on its Project Open Data page, breaking down what types of events are good fits for different types of data:

“So you’re opening up government data and making it easier to find and use — to inspire new ideas, spur economic growth, and ultimately make your agency more effective in achieving its mission. But you realize that your agency can’t just supply data — it’s also about getting and acting upon feedback, and catalyzing use of the data from a wide variety of stakeholders. A community event is a great way to hear ideas and feedback from passionate people, offer your expertise to people with thoughtful questions and evangelize your data assets.”


The guide breaks events down into three categories: Data jams, datapaloozas and hackathons. It then goes on to instruct agencies on how to structure the events, including email and agenda templates for agencies to start off on the right foot.

In a corresponding blog post, OSTP points to a number of open data events that can serve as examples for what the guide lays out, including an education datapalooza that focused on getting and keeping kids in college and a “Jobs Jam” that was attended by Vice President Joe Biden and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.

“The President’s Open Data Initiatives aren’t just about opening up and improving government data — they are also focused on engaging with innovators, entrepreneurs and the general public on the innovative use of the data in products and services to improve everyday lives and grow the economy,” an OSTP blog post about the guide states.

The full guide is available on the Project Open Data page.

Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

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