DATA TRADE GROUP: TRANSPARENCY ISN’T ENOUGH

The Data Transparency Coalition, a trade association whose members include LexisNexis and which advocates for federal data sharing, is rebranding to include data management as part of its mission.

The group has pushed for the federal government to fully implement the 2014 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, which directs federal agencies to make their spending more accessible and searchable to the public, among other open-data related policies. In advance of a day of meetings on Capitol Hill, the organization Wednesday announced its new name — the Data Coalition — and the creation of a new research foundation studying the impact of open data.

Open data policies “are not just about government transparency — they also mean the government can manage itself better, because data analytics become much cheaper when you’ve got data instead of [PDF] documents,” Data Coalition Executive Director Hudson Hollister said in an interview with Nextgov.

Representatives from member organizations, including financial transparency software platform OpenGov and Workiva, which sells a cloud-based platform for business analytics, joined Hollister for conversations with lawmakers, including Rep. Darrell Issa, R.-Calif., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, to discuss barriers to full implementation of the DATA Act.

The new Data Coalition’s goals include, in addition to improving implementation of the DATA Act, passing the Financial Transparency Act, which would require financial regulatory agencies to use open and searchable systems for financial reporting.

The Data Coalition’s research group, called the Data Foundation, plans to work on surveys related to the DATA Act and standardized business reporting, as well as cost-benefit analyses of the adoption of a single standard to identify to companies to replace the proprietary DUNS number. 

As the presidential campaign ramps up, Hollister said the Data Coalition plans to try convince parties to “make implementing the DATA Act a central piece of their management agenda,” Hollister told Nextgov.