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Commerce Chief Penny Pritzker Outlines Open Data Plans for Citizens, Business, Economy

Penny Pritzker
Penny Pritzker

Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker delivered a speech at an Esri event on the opportunities open data could present to the economy, how it could help businesses gain actionable insights and also to save citizens’ lives.

She noted the role the department has taken on the role of “America’s data agency,” from its mandates under the Patent and Trademark Office and Census Bureau to the data it collects on climate and for geographic information systems.

She cited a recent McKinsey report on open data’s potential to generate up to $1 trillion savings for the U.S. economy, which she said said could mean gains in healthcare, education, skills buildup, technological innovation, energy and transportation efficiency.

“Whether in Georgia or across the country, our cluster-mapping tool gives us the ability to reinvent and modernize economic development strategies – all driven by open data,” Pritzker said Monday.

She also revealed the agency’s plans to further use data to make a more agile government, starting with the appointment of a chief data officer, the creation of a data advisory council, the launch of a trade and investment online tool and renewed efforts to partner with the private sector.

“We are a startup as ‘America’s data agency,’ but the Department of Commerce has the tools necessary to develop, test and grow the next phase of the open data revolution,” Pritzker added.

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