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A Fond Thank You

Counselor Justin Antonipillai

Counselor Justin Antonipillai

Today is my last day serving in this Administration, and in leading the Economic and Statistics Administration.

This has been a great job. It has been a privilege to lead a government Bureau that includes dedicated statisticians, economists, policy advisors, software developers and data scientists. Our operational and management team is deeply dedicated to the mission of producing data and statistics to drive policy makers, innovators, non-profits, charities, and people around the country.

"In every community, there is work to be done…"

… "in every heart, there is power to do it," writer Marianne Williamson said.

So true, and as I wind down my role as a US Commerce Department official who has been privileged to lead our mission to advance data equality in America, I've been thinking about what "community" means today given the classic Digital Age conundrum.

Data-Driven Art

In my job at Commerce, much of my focus has been on harnessing our open public data to drive innovation, job creation, the economy and new solutions for the public good.

But data-driven technologies are also fueling the right-brain, creative side of life.

“The ballet of the good city sidewalk”

Across America, a trend in planning, development and land use has been fast changing the way many people live. Call it mixed-use development, walkable communities or New Urbanism, the trend is moving people—and their work, lives and neighbors—closer together.

The Census Bureau has long provided deep and mature sets of data on population trends, including population density, jobs data, and earnings information, that can help realize the impact and implications of this trend.

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.

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.

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.

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