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Driving Commerce Data onto New Platforms…

During the holiday season, more of us spend more time trying to think about how we gave back this year and commit to give back in the next year. Here at Commerce, we have information that can help you target that giving, and to make other decisions, and we have been working hard to bring you more ways you can get that information.

Combining Open Commerce Datasets to Drive Better Trade Business Intelligence

“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves. The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests.”—Sheryl Sandberg

As we bring private-sector innovators and technologies into our challenge to use public data to solve public problems, it’s striking how many are finding new ways to break through and apply their passions, talents and interests:

  • We have one company that is making our data available free and open on a platform with 700,00 data scientists.
  • We have another company that is wrangling, integrating, and presenting our data with information from a number of other public sources.
  • A third is making Commerce data more accessible via interactive visualizations and filters.

“Omne Vivum Ex Vivo” for Data-Driven Health

Louis Pasteur’s law of biogenesis (reflected in the above Latin phrase meaning “all life from life”) might well capture how we see our mission at Commerce to democratize and harness public data to drive innovation and help solve big public problems.

To explain, we see in countless ways every day—from patent search that begets new patents, to trade data used to fuel exports—how mining and combining open public data, and combining public data with private data sets, multiplies its value and impact. Just as Pasteur’s microorganisms multiplying in an open flask led to life-saving vaccinations and drugs.

Innovations in Training at Commerce

Leonardo DaVinci.  Paul Revere.  Ben Franklin.  Vincent Van Gogh.  Elvis Presley.  David Beede.  April Blair. William Hawk. Andrea Julca.  Karlheinz Skowronek. Patricia Tomczyszyn.

Which names don’t seem to belong with the others?  Trick question.  While DaVinci and other names obviously are famous, the backgrounds of all of these women and men have something major in common: They trained as apprentices.

How U.S. Companies Use and Adapt the Apprenticeship Model to Create an Innovative Workforce

Socrata Announces Free, Open and Public Tool using Valuable Commerce Datasets

“To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often”—Sir Winston Churchill

The open data movement has been alive at the Department of Commerce for a very long time. The predecessors to the National Weather Service have been providing open weather reports since the founding of our nation and regular weather reports have been around since the early 1900s.

data.world to Bring Valuable Commerce Datasets to “Social Network for Data People”

In the cause of democratizing public data, the “flywheel effect” is starting to pick up real momentum.

This summer, when Commerce issued a public call for the private sector to help democratize our data to help address the inequalities in data access that were causing concern, no one could have known just how many innovative approaches would be brought to the table by entrepreneurs around the country.

Secretary Pritzker Praises Data Advisory Council Members for Role in Making Commerce Data More Widely Usable

Reflecting on today’s Commerce Data Advisory Committee meeting, I think about the “flywheel effect,” a term coined by Jim Collins, author of the landmark book, “Good to Great,” (about how good companies become great).

The flywheel effect says the toughest challenge is getting a giant wheel to begin turning. You have to keep pushing. And it takes many shoulders on the wheel. But at some point, the momentum kicks in, and the flywheel starts to turn on its own momentum. Then—boom—it takes off.

Kaggle’s Data Science Community to Solve Public Problems with Commerce Open Data

Quick quiz:

  • Which state has the highest percentage of working moms?
  • Who’s more employed—people with bachelor’s degrees or doctorates?
  • Who earns more income—people who get to work at 7 am, 8 am or 7 pm?

Innovating and Learning through Failure

In 1956, an assistant professor at a university failed, and failed memorably, when trying to invent a "heart rhythm recorder." The failure occurred when, in trying to complete a circuit, he reached into his equipment box and grabbed the wrong sized resistor.

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