Last month, a quiet yet monumental shift occurred in the way government is run in Detroit when the city unveiled its new open data portal. For a city with well-known technological limitations, the portal is a major first step in its effort to modernize its technological infrastructure and develop a culture of transparency.
GO DATA (short for Government Open Data Access To All) was created by executive order of Mayor Duggan and executed by the office of the city’s first chief information officer, Beth Niblock, with financial support from the Socrata Foundation. The portal offers significant raw material for civic tech projects, startups, and nonprofits in the city, putting roughly 90 datasets (including crime and permit data) into the hands of the public. Additional datasets will be added to the portal in the coming months.