If there is one thing governments do exceedingly well, it's collect data. What they don’t do as well is make that data available in a way that is particularly useful. Looking to change that dynamic, Splunk has begun working with the White House on a Regulations.gov initiative to make it easier to mine the trove of government data.
In big news on the government data and transparency front, the premier provider of federal campaign finance information, Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), have announced they are opening for bulk download 20 years worth of data used to power their web site OpenSecrets.org. More than 200 million records are being made available of itemized contributions, campaign spending, lobbying, personal finance, and sponsored travel. CRP began tracking campaign contributions in the late 1980s. Their stats and staff are trusted and quoted by the Media as the gold standard reference.
The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released an API for access to National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data: NCVS API. NCVS data includes the frequency, characteristics and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States compiled on an annual basis. The API constitutes one of many steps the federal government plans to make in an attempt to open access to data.