This week, as a part of the government-wide Open Data Policy, VA launched its open data webpage. The page aims to introduce the user to VA’s open data, convey a clear and simple understanding of what open data is, and highlight a few of the most valuable open data sets: VA Facilities Locations, Homeless Resources, and Family Caregiver Services.
In addition to offering the VA data sets, the new page directs users to www.data.gov, where they can explore 171 open data sets.
Over the next few months, VA’s open data team will create a fully functional data catalog that can be accessible and useable by the public, and by VA and other federal employees.
Like other federal agencies, VA collects and creates data related to the needs of Veterans and the work of the department. Some of it is already available online but can be hard to find, understand and use. In keeping with the Open Data Initiatives that this administration has launched over the past few years, VA has been making more of its data open and available to the public.
After all, the work of the federal government is paid for by taxpayers and when possible, data that is public should be accessible and usable by all of us.
Already, VA has been working with partners like the Feast to use open data to create products of value for Veterans and their families. In the coming months, VA’s open data team will scale up efforts to create valuable and informative products by convening designers, developers and entrepreneurs to use open data in new ways.
Our team is looking to the public for feedback and prioritization of future data releases. You tell us: How can we improve? What data sets would be valuable to you?
Of course, not all data can be public, but if it can be, it’s a conversation we want to have. So pay us a visit, make sure to provide your feedback and keep in touch @OpenVetAffairs!