U.S. General Services Administration

On January 21, 2009, in his "Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government," President Obama declared that government transparency depended on rapidly disclosing information to the public in accessible, usable forms. Five months later, Data.gov was born, the world's first national catalog of government data, open and accessible to all.

Since then, the program has become the world leader in setting the agenda for open government data. Data.gov brought this global community together by organizing the first International Open Government Data Conference, where knowledge was shared on every facet of this new commitment to open government. Phase One has supported this groundbreaking project from the beginning, from site launch through all aspects of its improvement and maturation.

Why This Matters To You

In 2009, the United States government had 5,000 second-level .gov domains and 24,000 sub-domains connecting to 30 million web pages, yet comprehensive research was virtually impossible without understanding the Federal government organization. In addition, most government data was provided in closed formats that made it very difficult to use.

The U.S. was losing opportunities to strengthen democracy through a more informed, participatory public; build the economy through innovation and entrepreneurship; and support citizens' daily lives. The solution: a one-stop shop for "raw" data in open, machine-readable formats.

From these datasets, citizens are creating an app economy, developing hundreds of apps that include helping parents keep their children safe, letting travelers find the fastest route to their destinations, and informing homebuyers about the safety of their new neighborhood. Never before have people been so empowered with the information they need to make everyday decisions. New capabilities being deployed will make the data even more accessible and useful to citizens by enabling them to analyze, sort, group, and visualize the data live, via the cloud. Transforming data into information puts the data to work, allowing citizens to be more informed, make better decisions, and derive greater value from their government.

How We Helped

Data.gov is a White House initiative that spans the entire Executive Branch, and the program's implementation began at the U.S. Department of the Interior, where Phase One provided strategic advice and execution support for its launch. As the site moved to the U.S. General Services Administration and grew to more than 300,000 data sets with access to millions more, Phase One assisted in every aspect of its growth. Phase One helped to develop and update the Data.gov Concept of Operations as well as provided strategic and analytic support by identifying areas for achieving budgetary efficiencies and opportunities to make the site even more accessible to the public.

Phase One also facilitated meetings of multiple government agencies and academic representatives to pioneer new technologies that could make the data more useful, along with assisting in training points of contact from across government in publishing their data. Phase One's communications support helped to expand awareness of Data.gov through assistance in creating press materials, building virtual communities of practice, inspiring students at its

USA Science & Engineering Festival booth, and assembling the field's global leaders at the inaugural International Open Government Data Conference.