Socrata Announces Release of “Open Data Field Guide”

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Free online resource guides government leaders through the open data opportunity, from vision and strategy to organizational alignment and step-by-step execution.

Cloud-based, open data platform provider Socrata, Inc. today announced the release of its “Open Data Field Guide.” This freely available web resource provides practical information about starting and growing a successful open data initiative. The insight is the product of four years of involvement in the open data field, working with many innovative government organizations around the world.

“We have captured what we’ve learned working alongside thought leaders like the World Bank, Health and Human Services, New York City and Chicago. We’ve supported their efforts at greater transparency, and discovered the amazing transformation that can happen once organizations put their troves of valuable data to work,” says Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt. “This guide is designed to share what we know right now. It will continue to evolve as the field grows.”

Beginning with topics like, “Why Open Data? Why Now?” the Guide covers a range of key success factors such as goal setting, organizational alignment, community outreach, data release plans, the six steps to open data program implementation, and more.

Socrata interviewed a number of its customers to add their advice to the Guide. It features insights from many of them and, to start, full interviews from three major players in the Chicago open data community, Chief Data Officer Brett Goldstein, Director of Performance Management and Analytics, Tom Schenk, and civic hacker Derek Eder.

Socrata plans to publish more full interviews over the coming months from thought leaders at organizations like the state of Colorado, the World Bank, the city of Edmonton, state of Maryland, state of Oregon, and many other innovators in the field.

“We want people to read the Guide, engage, give feedback, and use it to strengthen the open data community,” says Merritt. “This is a living document.”

The Guide also features an “Open Data Toolkit” with resources like “Top 10 Open Datasets,” “Promoting Your Portal: A How-To Guide,” and “How to Run a Hackathon.”

“The toolkit will grow as pioneering open data efforts continue to mature. This field is young. Our goal is to share what we learn and offer government leaders everywhere the resources they need, so that no one has to start from scratch,” says Merritt.

About Socrata

Socrata is a Seattle-based cloud software company, focused exclusively on democratizing access to government data. We help public sector organizations improve transparency, citizen service and fact-based decision-making by efficiently delivering data to those who need it, in a user-friendly experience on web, mobile and machine-to-machine interfaces. These are all core functions of open data.

Our turnkey cloud delivery model of easy-to-use open data products empower our customers to unlock the full value of their data with unprecedented speed and cost savings. Innovators like the World Bank, Medicare,, EnergyStar, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Oregon, Montgomery County, and Maryland, have all chosen Socrata as the technology platform for their strategic data sharing initiatives. To learn more about Socrata, visit

Socrata is a private company, based in Seattle, Washington, with venture financing from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit

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