In a short amount of time, open data has gone from an abstract idea to an increasingly common practice that government entities throughout the country and the world seek to achieve. One problem that keeps coming up is usability. It’s great that data is liberated and accessible online, but what are you going to do with all of that data if you don’t know where to start in the first place? Most of us are not data scientists, but the information contained within these datasets is just as important to us and is something that we’d like to interact with as well.
This point has not been lost on data providers, which is why we were very happy to see the Commerce Department launch the Commerce Data Usability Project (CDUP). This project is designed to give nonexperts a start in open data by providing tutorials on the necessary “context and code” to truly engage with data released by the Commerce Department.
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