Connecticut Puts Government Data in Public's Hands

Data.ct.gov will includes lists, tables, charts, graphs or other non-narrative forms of data that is generally statistical or factual.

A screenshot of the data.ct.gov website.
A screenshot of the data.ct.gov website.

Got data?

You do now.

On Monday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and  launched Data.ct.gov, Connecticut’s new open data portal that allows widespread amounts of raw government data to be collected, placed on the internet, and shared with the public.

“We launched this website to as part of our goal to make the data collected by state government more open and easily accessible to its owners – the taxpayers of Connecticut,” Malloy said. “Data.ct.gov will make vast amounts of data – data that was previously hard to find – easily accessible to individuals, researchers, entrepreneurs, academics, policymakers and other state agencies, and spur a new level of innovation and collaboration in our state.”

Created as a result of Executive Order No. 39, the  website will serve as a portal where data collected across all state government agencies will be shared with the public. The website will also include access to economic development data that was made public under Executive Order No. 38

Executive Order No. 38 was issued in December 2013. It requires the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to create a searchable electronic database on the DECD website containing information regarding certain economic assistance and tax credits that were utilized for the purpose of recruitment or retention of business.

Malloy announcement the new portal at SeeClickFix, a New Haven firm that has created a communications platform for citizens to report non-emergency issues, and governments to track, manage, and reply. He was joined by state Comptroller Kevin Lembo.

“Today is a great day – and an important shift in Connecticut’s movement towards greater civic engagement,” Lembo said. "Through Connecticut’s new open data portal – and innovations by companies such as SeeClickFix – we are reinventing and improving how government connects with the people it serves."

Where Does the Data Come From? 

The release from Malloy's office spells out the answer to that question, as follows:

To create the Connecticut Open Data Portal, the State of Connecticut has signed a contract with Socrata, Inc. The portal is managed and administered by Tyler Kleykamp of the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), who is the portal’s Chief Data Officer (CDO). Kleykamp previously served as the coordinator of state geospatial information systems (GIS) at OPM.

Data.ct.gov will includes lists, tables, charts, graphs or other non-narrative forms of data that is generally statistical or factual. This data is collected by executive branch agencies and Executive Order 38 instructs them to identify data within their agencies and begin the process of uploading that data to the portal. Further:

  • The Chief Data Officer will be responsible for working with an Agency Data Officer (ADO) designated by the commissioner at each state agency covered by the order.  
  • ADOs will work within their agencies to regularly identify new data suitable for the portal and share that list of data with the CDO.  
  • The CDO will work with the ADOs to identify data and upload it to the portal.  
  • The CDO will be advised by an advisory panel created by this executive order and appointed by the Governor.

The Governor noted that Executive Order No. 39 instructs agency heads to make public data openly available while continuing to safeguard information that must be kept secure. The order does not apply to any protected data that, if disclosed, would violate state or federal law, would endanger the public health, safety or welfare, hinder the operation of government or impose and undue financial, operational or administrative burden on a state agency. 

Who Can Use It, and For What Purposes?

Analysts, academics, entrepreneurs and all members of the public have the opportunity to use the posted data. 

The online portal also gives users the opportunity to visualize data through graphs or charts and on maps when applicable. Data posted on the portal can be embedded in other websites by any user, too.

'A Valuable Resource' 

“By making vast amounts of government data available to the public, data.ct.gov will be a valuable resource for entrepreneurs and software developers creating new products and apps here in Connecticut,” said SeeClickFix CEO and Founder Ben Berkowitz. “I look forward to exploring the potential of this new open data site and I’m excited to watch it grow.”

OPM Secretary Ben Barnes said: “OPM is excited not only to lead this important initiative, but also to move Connecticut forward into the age of data-driven governing. This new portal provides us with opportunities for a more collaborative, interactive, and transparent approach to measure the performance of government services and programs.” 

DM April 01, 2014 at 11:23 PM
Statistical or factual......pick one can't be both!? haha
Andrew Mitchell Blum CT April 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM
I'll have to check this out for some of my classes - thank you! Andrew Mitchell Blum Fairfield, CT


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