Success With the OpenGov Solution
Mercier explains how Denton needed “data in a usable format.” Before deploying OpenGov Open Data™, the city released its information in PDFs and other formats not easily consumed. “We received a lot of feedback that the data we provided wasn’t easy to understand or work with,” says Mercier. These barriers meant Denton’s tech community couldn’t build applications; residents couldn’t easily access a central location to search for data; and potential businesses couldn’t easily assess Denton’s economic condition.
OpenGov Open Data™ removed these barriers.
Working with OpenGov’s open data experts, Denton uploaded numerous datasets that span a wide array of metrics to its data portal. Today, the city empowers residents and businesses with 71 machine-readable datasets, from the city’s demographic indicators to its upcoming building projects. Anyone can download these datasets in a variety of formats – enabling civic developers and lay-users alike to gain value from public data. Mercier explains how the same solution “works for different demographics. Whether you want to run a hackathon or run a business, the data is usable to you.”
Denton Gains the Best of Open Source Through Managed CKAN
Denton wanted to select an open data platform that is truly on the cutting edge of the field. That’s why Denton opted for an open source platform so the city could leverage a community of thousands of developers working on enhancing open data. Denton purchased OpenGov’s Managed CKAN solution. CKAN, the leading open source platform, is the industry standard for open data – used by the federal government, the European Union, and hundreds of other agencies around the world. Because CKAN is open source, Mercier explains how it’s easier to “take advantage of community efforts” to improve the software.
Denton can use the new features, visualizations, and support tools developed by the open source community, rather than having to pay for costly maintenance inherent in proprietary open data solutions. And because OpenGov manages Denton’s solution, the city does not have to worry about installation, maintenance, and implementing upgrades. Mercier explains, “One of the things we gained from OpenGov was a team – Sami, Joel and other open data specialists – who could guide us through our open data experience and who we could reach out to and get answers from in a timely manner.”