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UAlbany Center for Technology in Government Report Provides Case Studies, Practical Advice on the Benefits of Opening Data

From left, CTG Senior Fellow Anthony Cresswell, CTG Program Manager Meghan Cook, and Ashley Casovan, strategic coordinator for the Office of the CIO, City of Edmonton, at a previous meeting on opening government data. (Photo, courtesy of Alison Heaphy, CTG)

ALBANY, NY – (December 4, 2012) -- The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany/SUNY has released The Dynamics of Opening Government Data, a report analyzing the ways organizations can benefit from opening government.  The published outcomes are based on a year-long research project funded by software-industry leader SAP.

The paper was released today in conjunction with an SAP-hosted roundtable in New York City, featuring the City of Boston, the City of Edmonton, and thought leaders from CTG and The Brookings Institution—discussing what it means to be a Best Run City.

“If public leaders want to pursue opening government, particularly through the use of new technologies and information-driven activities, they need a good understanding of how the process works,” said Natalie Helbig, senior program associate at CTG and lead author of the report. “Our findings present a holistic opening government data approach to help organizations understand and evaluate the impact of different technology, management, and policy choices before they are implemented.”

The data collected culminates from two active open data initiatives including a road construction project in the City of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, and a restaurant inspection initiative in New York, N.Y. Based on these cases, the report provides practical advice for government managers planning or actively engaged in opening government data initiatives, including:

  • Release government data that are relevant to both agency performance and the public interest.
  • Invest in strategies to estimate how different stakeholders will use the data.
  • Devise data management practices that improve context in order to ‘future-proof’ data resources.
  • Think about sustainability for long term value creation.

"What we learned from the combination of CTG's research and public sector use cases is that all stakeholders and their patterns of interaction will evolve over time and require new practices, policies and governance arrangements.  We also learned that this combined with the emergence of new technology capability enablers will lead to faster innovation and the accomplishment of objectives never considered possible," said Russ LeFevre, Vice President, Industry Marketing, SAP.  "We believe this research will provide our government customers around the world with a better understanding of the impact opening government, particularly opening data, and other government transformational efforts, can have on their organizations."

The next steps in CTG’s research and practice approach will be to use the initial results to guide new research in the areas of government information polities and modeling in support of opening government. In addition, the approach will be used to develop practical tools to help governments continue opening government data and other information-intensive initiatives.

Visit the CTG site for more information on the project. Download the report at:

About CTG

The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology. For more information visit

About UAlbany

The University at Albany-SUNY has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, life-enhancing research and scholarship, and a commitment to public service. A University at Albany education brings the world within reach to students through nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. A student body of more than 17,000 students has a global connection to more than 140,000 alumni. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit

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