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Using Open Data to Protect the Food Supply

GovLab – A Roundtable with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, January 2015.

“Roundtable Insights and Recommendations – The discussions covered seven key areas where USDA can further develop its open data strategy and increase both USDA and its data users’ ability to leverage data to improve food resilience. These areas for improvement mirror the findings of The GovLab’s earlier Roundtable with the U.S. Department of Commerce, and may apply to other federal agencies as well. Agencies including USDA have an opportunity to:

  • Treat data users as customers by engaging with them and getting their input and feedback on a regular basis.
  • Make it easier to discover and find data – for example, by publishing full inventories of the data that an agency has available.
  • Improve access to data by providing data in different formats for different users’ needs.
  • Improve data quality by making the data more complete, valid, and accurate.
  • Make data interoperable – that is, make it easier to combine one dataset with another.
  • Collect data more frequently, integrate data from more sources, including from other government programs and through public-private collaborations.
  • Use new strategies to store and disseminate data, including public-private partnerships, to make it more widely available.”

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