Updated: Oct 17, 2019
The Data.ca.gov website was created in response to the adoption of Assembly Bill No. 1755: The Open and Transparent Water Data Act. This bill was approved by Governor September 23, 2016 and filed with Secretary of State on September 23, 2016.
According to the California State Department of Water Resources Website, "The Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755, Dodd) requires the Department of Water Resources, in consultation with the California Water Quality Monitoring Council, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, to create, operate, and maintain a statewide integrated water data platform; and to develop protocols for data sharing, documentation, quality control, public access, and promotion of open-source platforms and decision support tools related to water data."
The new website will be accessible to anyone wishing to create a login to access environmental since data from across the state. According to the website, "the Government Operations Agency sponsors data.ca.gov, a statewide open data portal created to improve collaboration, expand transparency and lead to innovation and increased effectiveness. The Agency’s open data efforts, which support data analysis and using existing data to improve state operations, align with the Eureka Institute’s Lean process improvement program and its pilot work in data-driven performance improvement.
Open data is public data collected by the state through its routine business activities and published in a format that is easy to search, easy to download and easy to combine with other data sets from other sources; it does not include private or confidential data about individuals.
While several state agencies host their own open data portals, data.ca.gov was designed specifically to host open data from more than one agency. GovOps is in the process of linking each of the existing state portals, so that all of the state’s open data sets can be searched from https://data.ca.gov.
To spark awareness of the data that is available and to introduce new ideas for using that open data, state agencies have hosted code-a-thons, data challenges and other civic engagement events. More information about the state’s innovation challenges can be found at https://findanewway.ca.gov.
GovOps hosted its first event, the CA GreenGov Challenge, in 2015 with the launch of its pilot portal. More than 80 citizen coders, some organized as teams, spent two days at the Department of General Services’ riverside headquarters combining data sets from the Department of General Services, CalRecycle and the Air Resources Board and outside sources to develop tools the state could use to make state operations more sustainable. Two of the winning applications are in development to help DGS track the sustainability of supplies the state purchases and how the state is improving the sustainability of its vehicle fleet.
Last fall, GovOps, together with the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Natural Resources Agency, teamed with the White House Council of Environmental Quality to hold a first-of-its-kind water data challenge focused on developing tools for data-driven decision-making around water reliability and resource sustainability in California.
From the start, GovOps has partnered with the California Health and Human Services Agency. An early adopter of open data, CHHS developed the state’s first agency-wide open data portal. The portal publishes data sets from the agency’s 12 health and social services departments and offices. The agency has been a leader in using its portal to encourage collaboration among its departments and to leverage it's vast data stores to learn more about program outcomes.
GovOps will continue to work with its open data partners in state government to make more data available and easier for Californians to use."