What is Open Data?

The term “data” can take on a variety of different meanings or interpretations, some of which are highly technical. However, despite these complexities, the concept of open data is quite simple – to “open up” access to public information of all types, thereby letting the public consume and interact with data in a variety of ways. This data may be used to facilitate decision making; encourage innovation through the development of tools or applications to further support public data consumption; hold government departments and agencies accountable and promote transparency; and much more.

Open Data BR is an initiative that exists as part of a broader commitment to the residents of Baton Rouge focused on creating a more efficient, effective and responsive City-Parish government while developing Baton Rouge into a hub for digital growth and technological innovation.

More specifically, Open Data BR is focused on providing access to data and information, which can be utilized to create efficiencies and improve coordination among City-Parish departments, streamline citizen engagement, encourage economic development and business innovation, and support a more effective, responsive, transparent and connected City-Parish government. At the City-Parish level, department heads and staff can utilize this kind of data to identify trends and gaps in services, and efficiently allocate resources. Meanwhile, residents and businesses can use the same data to better understand government and build solutions to improve the services provided by local, public-sector agencies.

Open Data BR for Developers

Through Open Data BR, residents and businesses are able to access data as it is added to this system for informational purposes, easily create web-based visualizations based on this data and stay up-to-date on how the City-Parish is working to serve those who live, work and play in the area. In addition, private businesses, developers and programmers can freely access the same data and incorporate it into business processes, web or mobile applications and more. In time, as applications using City-Parish data are developed – both internally and externally – they will be added to this site as additional resources for the public to access. If you are a developer or programmer who has built such an application and would like the City-Parish to consider adding it to this site, please visit the “Developers” page, or contact us at opendata@brgov.com.

The Open Data BR portal is managed by the Department of Information Services in close collaboration with the Office of Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. Moving forward, Information Services will continue working with other City-Parish and governmental agencies to identify, streamline, and make additional datasets available to the public as back-end systems are built and data transfer services are finalized, with the eventual goal of opening access to all City-Parish data that can legally be published for public consumption.

Please check back often to see what’s new as additional data is added to this system.

In the meantime, thank you for your interest and support as the City-Parish works to create a more effective, efficient and digitally connected government to serve the residents and businesses of Baton Rouge.