Washington Named No. 2 for Data Innovation

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Washington has been named one of the top states for data innovation according to a comprehensive study released by the Center for Data Innovation released on July 31. The study, which used 25 indicators across three categories to assess which states are doing the most to encourage and enable data-driven innovation, ranked Washington No. 2 nationally.

The Center for Data Innovation is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute which formulates and promotes pragmatic public policies designed to maximize the benefits of data-driven innovation in the public and private sectors.

“We’re thrilled to see that Washington has scored so well on the Center for Data Innovation’s new assessment of data innovation in the 50 states,” said Will Saunders, the state’s senior program manager for open data.  “Their work brings together a strong collection of source studies that point to the economic development importance of accurate, authoritative and highly available data.”

The Center’s assessment offers a list of key steps to promote data innovation – many of which Washington has already done or has in progress today:

  • Publish legislative data in open and machine-readable formats -- leg.wa.gov publishes all laws, bills and action in the Washington state legislature via web page and even through an application programming interface (API)
  • Publish checkbook-level government financial data online in open and machine-readable formats.  – Fiscal.wa.gov has been publishing Washington state’s checkbook for about a decade
  • Develop an open-data portal and statewide open-data policy. – Washington has an open data portal at Data.wa.gov, and the State CIO adopted an open data policy in 2015.
  • Develop a publicly accessible all-payer claims database (APDC).   Washington has an APCD project in flight.

The Study also highlights the importance of the intersection of government and the private sector in technology. “Data is part of how we do business and government in Washington state,” said Saunders. “We’re fortunate to have a really advanced and robust technology sector that includes the top three cloud companies (Amazon, Microsoft and Google), several of the Open Data 500 (Socrata, Tableau, Zillow), and thousands of innovative, smaller companies.”