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How to Get Started with Open Data

A What Works Cities approach from local city governments in Washington State

Cities collect and retain large amounts of data that the public finds valuable. In the past, this data was only available via paper files and required a public records request, creating an administrative burden for city employees. With advances in technology, cities can now host an open data program that makes the same data accessible to the public anytime, anywhere, via the internet. A strong open data program in your city can meet the public’s demand for information to aid in decision-making, increase your locality’s accountability and transparency, and reduce administrative burden. This training will investigate how an open data program can improve work processes, enable collaboration, and increase efficiency.

This webinar was designed around the excellent resources available through the What Works Cities national initiative and features the expertise of staff from the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, both of which partnered with What Works Cities to develop an open data program. The training provided real-world experiences in getting started with open data programs, regardless of a city’s size or operating budget. 


  • Tyler Running Deer, City of Seattle 
  • Katie Johnston, City of Tacoma 
  • Jessica Wilson, Local Government Performance Center, State Auditor’s Office


The Performance Innovation Webinar Series

This webinar is part of MRSC's performance innovation series—a series designed to help local government leaders cultivate and maintain a culture of continuous improvement within their organization. Additional training in this series can be accessed through the following webinars:

Archived Webinar

Date: November 8, 2016