Open and Transparent County Government
A Centralized Repository for Public Data
The County’s data is of interest to members of the public and software developers who are eager to provide customers with access to useful information. In late 2015, the County of Santa Clara began to explore the idea of having an open data portal. A specific question about open data came to the Board of Supervisors, as a result of software inquiries related to information to map crimes. As a result of that inquiry, the Information Services Department (ISD) began to reach out to open data management vendors to provide demonstrations of their platforms.
In August 2016, vendors provided demonstrations of their open data management platforms. ISD worked with the Procurement Department to develop the specification for an open data management system and drafted a Request for Proposal to seek for qualified vendor to host the platform on behalf of the County. After a panel evaluation, Socrata was selected as the vendor.
In an effort to be transparent and open, on February 8, 2018, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved the concept of piloting the open data platform with five County departments. These are the goals:
- Assess the functionality of the open data platform and its ability to share information with privacy and security concerns integrated in the program;
- Obtain community feedback on the usability of published data;
- Determine resources needed for expansions to other County departments.
The County has established the open data portal to enable the public to have a better understanding and greater visibility into the operations of their local County government. The site will provide an opportunity to increase engagement with county residents and leverage data assets to generate innovation and research.