Report: Open Data Formats Would Improve Transparency, Lower Costs

State and local governments could improve transparency and help lower borrowing costs for public projects by publishing their comprehensive annual financial reports as open data, according to a new report from Ames-based Workiva and the Data Foundation, an industry-focused open data research organization. The report, "Transparent State and Local Financial Reporting: The Case for an Open Data CAFR," defines open data as information presented in a machine-readable format and easily accessible by the public. “Having access to the data on a timelier basis will enable data users to do a more thorough assessment of credit risk, thereby enabling the market to divide the government entities that are good credit risks from the poor ones,” according to the report. Workiva produces Wdesk, an enterprise cloud platform for data collaboration.