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Discussing the Real Value of Open Data with State, City and County Leaders and the Sunlight Foundation

Discussing the Real Value of Open Data with State, City and County Leaders and the Sunlight Foundation
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On September 29th I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion at the NASCIO annual conference on the value of open data. Entitled “Open Data: Is the Value Real?,” the panel also included: Dale Hartman, IT Service Delivery Manager, King County Elections Washington Carolyn Parnell, Chief Information Officer, State of Minnesota Barbara L. Cohn, Chief Data Officer, New York Office of Information Technology Services Emily Shaw, National Policy Manager, Sunlight Foundation During our talk, we had a chance to dive in deep on the real value of open data for governments. One of the most encouraging takeaways for me was that the vast majority of attendees at this year’s NASCIO annual conference understood what open data was, and were convinced that it would improve government efficiency and provide value to the people governments serve. I thought the panel—led by Alan Shark, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of...
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Transforming the Way Governments Engage with Their Citizens

Transforming the Way Governments Engage with Their Citizens
Today, Accela acquired Government Outreach, a leading provider of citizen relationship management software. This ushers in a new era for Accela and our customers as we further strengthen our Civic Platform with citizen-facing offerings to help governments of all sizes better connect and engage with their citizens. We are thrilled to welcome Government Outreach customers to the Accela family. Government Outreach will be rebranded as Accela Citizen Relationship Management, and we will offer the solution to existing and new Accela customers. At Accela, we believe that engagement makes all the difference. Citizens want engagement with their government to be simple and streamlined. They increasingly want to connect with their government like they do with other organizations—on their own time through digital and mobile, in addition to over the phone and in person. In order to transform the citizen experience in their communities, agencies need to embrace technology that bridges the...
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Guest Blog on PBS MediaShift: Open Data Beyond the Big City

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The below is an excerpt of my guest blog on PBS MediaShift. You can r ead the full post here . Big cities, like San Francisco, are more likely to have adopted open data than smaller cities. This is a problem, says Headd. Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license . “The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.” –William Gibson. The Economist, December 4, 2003 The last time I heard Tim O’Reilly speak was at the Accela Engage conference in San Diego earlier this year. In his remarks, Tim used the above quote from William Gibson — it struck me as a pretty accurate way to describe the current state of open data in this country. Open data is the future — of how we govern, of how public services are delivered, of how governments engage with those that they...
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The Accela Civic Platform: What’s (Trust) Love (and Creativity) Got to Do with It?

The Accela Civic Platform: What’s (Trust) Love (and Creativity) Got to Do with It?
At Accela, our company values of Trust, Love and Creativity drive everything we do. Though we don’t outwardly talk about these values frequently, they inform and support the way we behave internally as well as how we interact with customers, partners, developers and citizens. Because our beliefs and values are so important to us and everything we do, I wanted to take a moment to describe to you how we are living out these values. We believe that engagement makes all the difference, and we make engagement easy by building bridges between citizens and government. To take it one step further, how does being a platform provider fit in with our corporate purpose of building a better democracy through engagement? And what are the implications of living our core values of trust, love and creativity? The answer is in the Civic Platform, which simultaneously helps us serve agencies, citizens and...
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Amazon, Google…and Accela? The Power of the Platform

Amazon, Google…and Accela? The Power of the Platform
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Amazon, Google and Accela are three distinct companies with one core commonality. We have all built platform solutions that are unique to our industries. Maury introduced the Civic Platform in August at Accela Engage 2014, and we gave more detail in a recent blog post, “ What Does the Civic Platform Mean to Me? ” Because the Civic Platform is so powerful, and encompasses so many solutions, with value to many different types of people, over the next several months we will post several series of blogs to demonstrate the power and value of the Civic Platform, and how it can benefit you, your agency and your community. But first, let’s get down to basics: what is a platform? What is a platform? A platform is a technological foundation on which one or more firms and partners can build complementary products, services and systems, supporting an ecosystem of innovation. Going...
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Guest Blog from Buildingeye | Referendum for a Dream: Why Data Standardization Is the Next Evolution for U.S. Cities

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The private sector has always led the race in technological advancement, usually leaving government agencies and city municipalities decades in the past. However, one of the few places where government entities have been pressed forward in this area is for defense applications. Yet collaborative technology partnerships continue to move forward—and even in the past few years, we’ve seen how companies like Accela and governments have been working together in mitigating disasters. Appallicious has a disaster assessment dashboard to help citizens in disaster situations and are working directly with FEMA. DigitalGlobe was recently able to help the U.S. military move their assets in place during the massive flooding in Colorado and even the California wildfires this past year.Through such a powerful partnership, the U.S. military was able to save countless lives, and these scenarios also taught a very important lesson: the data needs to flow, because populations depend on it. How...
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