Asheville Open Data Day 2017: Realizing the Promise

By Eric Jackson

open data (scrabble). Photo by Justin Grimes

Mark Saturday, March 4, 2017 in your calendars! In line with the City’s Open Data Policy, passed by City Council in October 2015, the City of Asheville is partnering with Code for Asheville to host Open Data Day 2017 as an opportunity to continue our collaboration with the community on open data.

In February 2014, Code for Asheville gathered members of the community and a number of City staff and council members to talk about open data and to come up with ideas for moving forward. That meeting kicked off efforts that led to two exciting results in collaboration with the community: an interactive open budget site that showcased new ways of engaging with citizens around public data and the passing of the City’s Open Data Policy in 2015.

The City has built on these community efforts with its own significant achievements, from SimpliCity to its new open data portal to a new public records request portal that will be launching shortly. We’re excited about the progress we’ve made and about our plans for the future.

This year’s open data day is an opportunity to build on all these successes, to realize more of the promise of open data.

The fact is, realizing that promise is not always easy. Early rhetoric around open data seemed to imply that governments need only put the data out there and the magic would happen. But, as with most magic, there’s actually a lot of hard work involved.

Data prompts questions and conversations and some of those questions and conversations are hard. They challenge the way we are accustomed to doing things. They sometimes spark disagreement.

These are not bad, but they do require that the City develop new ways to engage, to collaboratively build shared understanding of the data that lets us move toward meaningful conversation about solutions.

That is our goal in sponsoring this year’s Open Data Day in partnership with Code for Asheville. The day will be an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve achieved and hope to achieve. It will be a time to work on building the framework and relationships that support the kind of collaboration that open data and the principles of open government promise.

Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks, but mark your calendars now:

Asheville Open Data Day 2017 10AM – 2PM, Saturday, March 4, 2017 Linwood Crump – Shiloh Comple 121 Shiloh Road, Asheville, NC 28804

RSVP on Meetup

Originally published February 9, 2017.

Tags: Civic Engagement, Code for America, Open Data

Photo Credit: Justin Grimes, open data (scrabble)