Tactical Data Engagement

Cities across the United States are making public data more open and accessible to their residents. Mayors and city staff are improving their policies and technical offerings to make more and more information about how local governments function available online. These developments represent a sea-change in our societal norms and expectations about the public right to government information. We believe Tactical Data Engagement is the next step in that cultural movement toward transparency and accountability. While open data policies and portals are invaluable components of improving local governments’ outcomes, the ultimate goal of all government work — including open data — is to improve the day-to-day lives of the people in a community.

Now, we’re excited to help cities take the next step in their open data work. Governments can go beyond making public data accessible, and proactively work with residents to put open data into use. Tactical Data Engagement is the Sunlight Foundation’s approach to making that happen.

A Guide to Tactical Data Engagement

This guide lays out our four-step process for cities to facilitate opportunities for the community use of open data to improve residents’ lives. This guide will help you Find a general focus area by observing community information needs; Refine information use cases by interviewing stakeholders; Design a plan by coordinating with target data users; and Implement an intervention by collaborating with actual users. Read the guide ››

Tell us about your Tactical Data Engagement

Have you used the ideas in our guide, or are you working on a problem that could benefit from a Tactical Data Engagement approach? Tell us about it! We want to hear your successes and are here to answer questions.

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