How can the federal government help the private sector to accelerate improvements in data innovation and thus “enhance quality of life”? The Center for Data Innovation has a plan.

“In nearly every industry, data is powering new insights that improve decision-making, enable new products and services, and enhance quality of life,” said Daniel Castro, the Center’s director and the report’s lead author which was issued this week.

“The government may not be the main engine of this innovation, but it can and should play a vital role in accelerating and shaping it to boost economic growth and aid society.”

The Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan think tank recommends “10 concrete steps Congress can take in 2017 to maximize public benefit by optimizing the way data is collected, shared, and used in the United States.”

Highlights include:

  • Publishing data the government already collects, including:

1. Establish a permanent open-data policy for the federal government,
2. Allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to publicly release Common Land Unit data, and
3. Establish an API for legislative data.

  • Collecting more data that can be put to valuable use, including:

4. Develop a complete 3D National Elevation Dataset,
5. Require corporate data transparency, and
6. Address the LGBT data gap.

  • Encouraging industries to make better use of data, including:

7. Adopt universal patient identifiers for healthcare,
8. Incentivize adoption of electronic health records for mental-health providers,
9. Foster use of alternative credit data, and
10. Ensure consumers can access their utility data.

“Overall, the policies in this report are incremental, but significant, steps toward the larger aim of creating a fully integrated world that harnesses the power of information for productive purposes,” Castro says. “The long-term goal is for Congress to demand that federal agencies look closely at how they can use data to solve important policy challenges and help shepherd in a new era of innovation, productivity, and economic growth.”

Read the report at: