The Year of Data-Driven Government Accountability

in Pacific Standard: “Indeed, 2014 could be called the Year of Government Accountability, as voters on just about every continent have demanded that public officials govern with relentless efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and transparency….
The bottom line, in my view, is that facts must be the fundamental basis for critical and strategic decision-making at every level of government around the world today.
This belief—the foundation of massive technology and social movements, such as open data, big data, and data-driven government—is currently shared by a number of global government leaders. Just recently, for example, President Obama declared that “We must respond based on facts, not fear” when confronting the global Ebola crisis.
To be sure, presenting facts to decision-makers where and when they are needed is one of the most urgent technology priorities of our time. The good news is that we’re seeing progress on this front each and every day as civic organizations around the world rush to open their vast troves of data on the Internet and usher in a new era in data-driven government that will produce facts at the speed of light, and deliver them in context to political leaders, everyday citizens, professional academicians, scientists, journalists, and software developers wherever they are connected to the Web.
Data-driven government, which capitalizes on data, one of the most valuable natural resources of the 21st century, is a breakthrough opportunity of truly significant proportions. And it will be absolutely critical if governments everywhere are to achieve their ultimate mission. Without it, I worry that we just won’t be able to provide citizens with a higher quality of life and with greater opportunities to achieve their full potential.