Big Data Meets Government: Upcoming FutureTalk with Chris Rieth

Data-driven solutions like are changing the lives of Americans at both the state and federal level. But there is still so much big data can do to help solve some of our biggest societal problems.

FutureTalksIf you’re interested in learning more about how big data can be used to solve policy challenges, improve transparency, and engage citizens, then our upcoming FutureTalk in Portland is just for you. On Monday, June 9, Chris Rieth, project manager for Seattle-based cloud software company Socrata, will give a talk at our Portland office on how his team is working to democratize access to big data.

Bringing open data to the public sector

Chris RiethChris works on Socrata’s GovStat initiative and recently served as a top advisor to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, helping to evolve and build on Maryland’s StateStat performance measurement and management solution. Used by the State of Maryland to manage the vast majority of its agencies’ budget, and workforce, StateStat is credited with significant achievements in outcomes, including a 24.5% reduction in violent crime, and the nation’s number one rating for the state’s public school system.

As a teaser to Chris’ upcoming FutureTalk (hosted in partnership with the Technology Association of Oregon), we asked him what he’s learned from working with data in government environments:

The biggest surprise for me was learning how much data is out there. You can’t go in and just expect to free up every single piece of data in a day with the flip of a switch. And you can’t ask an agency to “give me all your data” and expect to get anything you’ll ever make sense of and comprehend. But by working together with department heads, program managers, stat analysts, and citizen stakeholders–you begin to learn what to ask for. And it’s an iterative process that builds on itself.

I think people in public service want to do public good. And when they see the positive outcomes of the process, you begin to hear more and more good ideas–supported by data–coming from within the organization.

Don’t miss the Hopworks happy hour!

We’re excited to host Chris’ FutureTalk and hope you’ll join us, especially since this event starts with a special Happy Hour featuring Portland’s very own Hopworks Urban Brewery. The lovely folks of Hopworks will be serving their recently re-launched Gigabit IPA, which was first introduced in 2010 as part of a campaign surrounding the Google Fiber initiative.

Hopworks Urban Brewery

There’s a lot to be excited about: access to internet at 100 times the current speed would open up new possibilities for the tech and entrepreneurial community, and would widen access to the internet itself. Now that Portland is one of nine metro areas being considered for Google Fiber, it’s a perfect time to bring Gigabit IPA back for everyone’s enjoyment.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Event details

Christian Sinai is the Community Relations Manager for New Relic in Portland, Oregon. He is the community lead and liaison for our local outreach efforts, and manages initiatives such as the FutureTalks PDX technical speaker series. View posts by .

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