9/21/2009 12:07:35 PM By
Today President Obama delivered a somewhat high-profile speech on innovation
in New York. This coincided with his National Economic Council's release of a new white paper on innovation
. Both highlight the key role that they believe entrepreneurship and innovation can play in leading future economic growth. Of particular interest to the audience on this blog is the following paragraph:
- Stimulate entrepreneurship through increased access to government data. The Administration launched Data.gov, a one-stop shop for free access to data generated across all Federal agencies. By empowering the American people to find, use, and repackage data, Data.gov will give rise to new businesses (like the GPS and genomics industries that grew from increased access to public information) and empower entrepreneurs to evaluate opportunities.
I find this a really interesting perspective but am skeptical that most readers of the paper will agree on first pass. Entrepreneurship through data access? Entrepreneurship through data access! Yes! Government data can open up new industries, but government data is vital to all commerce - new firms, existing firms, domestic or international. From the decennial census to other surveys on commerce and technology, more often than not, it is government data which drives the models which feed into private business forecast. Yes, government data is often not detailed enough or timely enough for many private sector needs so data is imputed, assumptions are made, or other trade offs get considered. And while there are an increasing array of private sector data vendors on different topics, many of these sources could not exist without their government statistical couterparts. This issue is at the heart of my own passion for the subject of data and data availability. I hope the White House focus on it brings more light to the topic.
7/22/2009 5:32:49 PM By
7/20/2009 8:52:09 AM By
We continue to hear a lot of talk of coming improvements to government use of data and dissemination. This article highlights some of the discussion related to tracking the recovery
. There doesn't seem to be much traction in updating existing agency Web pages in this discussion. Instead, it seems the administration will build new interfaces through new sites (recovery.gov and data.gov, for example) and attempt to bypass some of the existing infrastructure.
5/28/2009 2:06:00 PM By
, a promising new direction for goverment data access, is up. Data available through it still seems very much in its infancy and duplicative to things already available through agencies (although you have to know about them being available). Notably, only U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data is currently posted under the business enterprise category on the site. I can't imagine that will be the case for long.
5/18/2009 3:00:00 AM By
The President's budget proposal for 2010 has some promising proposals for improvements to federal economic statistics. See article from Brookings
4/16/2009 2:09:00 AM By
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council has released its annual ranking of U.S. states
on a range taxes from personal income and capital gains to corporate, unemployment, internet, and gas taxes. Their ranking puts the top states as 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Wyoming, 4) Washington, and 5) Texas with the bottom ranking states (including Washington, DC) as 47) California, 48) Maine, 49) Minnesota, 50) New Jersey, and 51) District of Columbia.
4/13/2009 8:46:00 AM By
There have been a number of interesting papers coming out recently trying to provide some frameworks for policy that supports high-growth businesses.
- Henrekson, Magnus and Johansson, Dan,Competencies and Institutions Fostering High-Growth Firms(July 4, 2008). IFN Working Paper No. 757. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1155480
The last one was released in mid-2008 but which I only became aware of in the last week comes from the Europe INNOVA project of the European Commission's Directorate General Enterprise and Industry. I wanted to point out with this particular study, that the report starts with a call for more research data sets on high-growth firms. The panel, like this author, believes that many of our policy limitations in this area are the direct result of lack of an adequate research data infrastructure.
4/9/2009 10:17:00 AM By
We have been watching recently as President Obama appointed Vivek Kundra the new federal CIO. He was formerly in a similar position for the city of Washington, DC, and was touted for opening up Washingtonl, DC, to the people in innovative ways. As such, much anticipation is being heaped on data.gov (see article on Slashdot and other transcripts of interviews), a new website which is touted as the place where any non-private, government data will be made available to the public. We will be following this push closely.
Wired magazine has a really interesting piece out on the topic of the opening up of government data. While they are getting into a lot of territory which I am not familiar with, my concern has been the lack of will among government agencies (usually because of underlying statute) to share information that can help us to understand things like innovation and entrepreneurship. Many countries have been able to set goals for data which serve research and policy functions. While the Nordic countries have always been strong, recently, I have been impressed with Canada's modernization of their statistical infrastructure. Change is possible.
Wired has gone a step further in setting up an Open Up Government Data wiki to track data which should be opened up for the benefit of society. I wouldn't have thought of a wiki for this purpose but it's really quite interesting.
3/26/2009 2:47:00 AM By
There has been a fairly strong debate among many funding agencies and top-tier academic institutions about scholarly publications and access issues over the last few years. Last fall, I heard an interesting interview on National Public Radio's Science Friday podcast concerning the National Institute of Health's efforts to make research they funded open-access. From my dealings with with the Social Science Research Network to promote dissemination of academic publications on entrepreneurship (see Entrepreneurship Research and Policy Network), I suspected that efforts to push open-access publication are likely to be dealt with at the disciplinary level and that the mores of the each discipline in adopting norms are extremely different.
Yesterday, I saw a new announcement from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which has caused me to wonder if open-access is reaching a tipping point that could sweep across academia. MIT's release of a campus-wide, open-access publication model for its faculty's research has the potential to cascade across the U.S. and the globe. MIT, with its diversity of strengths in academic research, would seem an ideal place to begin such a domino effect. You can read their actual policy or a good overview article on the whole process at ars technica.
One thing I didn't see specified in the MIT policy that I will be interested to find clarification on is how MIT plans to treat the underlying research data which scholarly publications are based upon. This has been a murky area in Economics, but less so in other disciplines, and how the university treats the research data could have other significant implications. MIT's libraries have a page devoted to open data, which do give an overview of some of the big players in this area but I diddn't see reference to open data in their policy.
3/17/2009 9:36:00 AM By
Andrew Reamer at the Brookings Institution has a new piece out
overviewing what he sees as an economic measurement system in the United States that is in need of additional investment. We are a funder of some of this work so it should come as no surprise that I am in concurrence with most of the points he makes, but even beyond what he presents, I think most of us would recognize a deficeit in our public knowledge. Even at the national level, which in theory by the way our systems are constructed should be the most accurate and timely, recent economic releases continue to undergo huge adjustments. For an example, just look to recent GDP numbers
. This is a big topic and an important topic, not only for policy makers but for businesses who rely upon accurate and timely data for forecasting and making decisions on markets to enter, etc.
Developing better data is part of Kauffman's long-term strategy for advancing better research and policy on entrepreneurship and innovation. Data Maven is place you can connect with new data developments, provide us feedback on possible new projects, and contribute to the community seeking to improve entrepreneurship and innovation measurement.
E.J. Reedy is a manager in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. Learn more ...