Raleigh, NC – The first part of a Data Palooza is coming to HUB Raleigh on April 22, 2013 from Noon to 6pm.
The NC DataJam registration site has all the details!
What is a Data Palooza, you ask? It is a sort of hackathon that has been used by Todd Park, the United States Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Assistant to the President. Todd has been a champion of using open innovation strategies and the Lean Startup approach to government initiatives in his role at Health and Human Resources (HHS). The innovation events at HHS evolved into Data Paloozas. Now as CTO, Todd is bringing Data Paloozas to other areas of government.
We found a June 2012 McKinsey & Company interview article titled: Unleashing government’s ‘innovation mojo’ which includes a good description of the Data Palooza in Todd’s own words:
The approach we took at HHS was to convene a group of 40 leading minds in the technology and health care arenas, and we put a pile of data in the room and said, “If you had this data, what would you do with it?”
Over the course of about eight hours, they brainstormed different applications and services. At the end of the meeting, we challenged them to come to the first Health Datapalooza—90 days later—and see if they could actually build what they had just brainstormed. The two criteria for products and services at Datapaloozas are that they must provide concrete value and have a sustainable business model; the Datapalooza is not meant to showcase stuff that’s purely academic or theoretical. Well, these innovators showed up 90 days later with more than 20 brand-new or upgraded products and services.
The Datapalooza had two important effects. One, it inspired entrepreneurs and innovators to get involved. Two, it gave us ammunition to liberate more data. Some folks within the government were adopting a “wait and see” attitude about data liberation. They weren’t ideologically opposed—it’s just that they said, “We’ve got a lot to do, so why should we invest in this?” We invited them to the Datapalooza, and when they saw that in 90 days these amazing innovators had taken open data and turned it into fully functional new products and services to advance their mission, they were blown away.
So NC DataJam will hopefully provide us with ‘ammunition’ to liberate more data from the municipalities in NC! If you go, let us know what you think of DataJam.