Maximize the utility of your data assets

Go beyond compliance and put your data to work for all your constituents – technical, non-technical, professional and developer. You only publish the data once, but your constituents consume it in many ways: interactively online, using visualizations, via downloads, through an API, or even over the phone! Even better, they are are empowered to distribute the data online and enrich it through social interactions. With every interaction your data becomes more relevant and useful.

Universally Accessible Public Data

A true measure of a successful Open Data initiative is consumption. The more constituents consume the data -in any format- the more value your government organization is providing. In order to drive consumption and allow citizens to self-serve, data needs to be easy to find, easy to understand and easy to use.

Easy to Find

A core feature of the Socrata Open Data Platform TM is an easy-to-use searchable catalog for all your data assets, whether they’re in tabular format, geo-spatial files, visualizations, or even documents. The catalog applications builds a multi-dimensional index of all your datasets based on the data, the publisher-created metadata, as well as social tagging and interactions by other users. The data catalog offers easy access and multiple points of entry for all your data-consuming constituents. Users will see a familiar interface that allows them to:

  • Pick from featured datasets – chosen and promoted by the publishers
  • Sort datasets based on popularity, relevance, recency, or other selection criteria
  • Choose datasets based on categories, or topics which benefit from social tagging
  • Search using keywords

Benefit: Constituents can easily find the data that is most relevant to them even if your catalog contains thousands of datasets.

Easy to Understand

Constituents come from all walks of life. Their informational needs vary and so do their technical abilities.  When data is published on the Socrata Open Data PlatformTM, it is automatically optimized for three different data-consuming groups and available in the appropriate format -without any effort on the publisher’s part:

  • Non-technical citizens who prefer a web-based interactive experience to explore data, including the ability to browse chart and map representations of tabular data
  • Researchers, journalists and analysts who prefer more advanced analytical capabilities such as grouping and roll-ups, as well as the ability to download the raw data in multiple formats such as XLS, CSV, XML and JSON
  • Civic Application Developers who need programmatic access to public data and metadata via a robust, RESTful open API

Benefit: Constituents can make sense of the data your publish by consuming it in the format that is most familiar to them and most relevant to their situation.

Easy to Use and Contribute To

Constituents can not only find your orgnization’s data and make sense of it, they can also contribute to it and make it more useful for themselves and everyone else. We call this socially-enriched data.

  • Any constituent on your Socrata-powered datasite, can create a representation of the data according to their own criteria and using a variety of visualizations
  • The possibilities are virtually endless: From simple sorting, to complex filtering and roll-ups, any user can create and share a customized view of the source data
  • Users can create maps and charts using a very intuitive interface and share their contributions with others

Benefit: Your data assets grow in value as they become more useful the more people interact with them. It is a fantastic example of crowd-sourcing that serves constituents without costing the government organization anything.