The federal government’s online data repository is getting a face lift this Friday, with added features that will help make the site easier to use as well as promote transparency.
The Obama administration is relaunching the Data.gov website with newly added tools that include the integrated Microsoft Bing search, featured data sets and links to web applications that take advantage of government data, according to InformationWeek.
“We’ve built this for the average person instead of just building it for data experts,” said federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra in a meeting with journalists Tuesday. “We want to make sure the average user doesn’t have to take days figuring out how to use this.”
Kundra said Data.gov’s developers studied usage patterns, looked to optimize the site for speed, and made sure to leverage consumer technology such as Microsoft’s Bing to make the site more usable. The addition of Bing search engine was made so that users would no longer have to “wander through” the site, he said.
To allow more transparency, the made over site offers features that give more insight into what people are looking at. Users will be able to view the top 10 data sets by number of downloads and the top states and countries visiting Data.gov. In addition, data sets suggested by the public will be tagged with an icon that looks like multicolored raised hands.