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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. A "Heart Rhythm Recorder" would need to be silent and very sensitive, but his "Wrong-Sized Resistor" model produced a pulse that made it impossible to record faint heart rhythms.

Impact of Spending on Traffic Congestion

We schedule our day around it. We design our cities around it. We give so much of our lives to it. To many Americans, traffic is all of the above and more. We hate traffic even as it seems to grow worse every passing year.

But how do we fare compared to Americans across the nation? Is my commute the worst in the nation? Is it getting better or worse? Where is the government improving it? These are all complicated questions that can be answered with freely public data.

Commerce Honor Awards Ceremony

“Every new idea is an impossibility until it is born.”

Honorable Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce (2nd left), Honorable Bruce H. Andrews, Deputy Secretary of Commerce (left); (left to right), Avi Bender, Logan T. Powell, Tyrone Grandison, Jeffrey A. Meisel, Director of the United States Census Bureau John H. Thompson, Alex Cohen, Counselor Justin AntonipillaiThat timeless insight, from the late former Secretary of Commerce, Ron Brown, captures the spirit of the Department’s 68th Annual Honor Awards Ceremony on Sept. 28.

Department of Commerce Assumes Leadership of White House Opportunity Project

“Opportunity is missed by most people,” Thomas Edison said, “because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Little known fact about Edison: Beyond his 1,000-plus inventions that changed the world, he was a driving force in the founding of the first Naval Research Laboratory in 1923. It launched a century of government-sponsored R&D that led to countless inventions from radar and jet engines, to GPS and the Internet. But while government hatched and supported the projects, it was collaboration with those outside the government that helped change the world.

Made in the USA and Measured by the Census Bureau

For more than 200 years — since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in America — the U.S. Census Bureau has described the state of America’s manufacturing. It all began as part of the 1810 Census, when U.S. Marshals collecting the population data also asked the first questions on manufacturing establishments. U.S. manufacturing has changed since then, when the landscape was dotted with textile mills.

White House Summit Showcases Commerce Open Data Innovations

Economic Growth, Innovation, and Opportunities panel discussion at White House Open Data Innovation SummitAs my kids grow up, the chances for me to read a night-time story to my little ones have begun to wane. And yet, those bedtime stories did bring me one of my favorite quotes – by A.A. Milne:

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”

Across the federal government, we have been inspired to think about ways that we can dream and bring together our sometimes disparate programs, efforts, and work in ways that elevate and really advance our biggest public missions.

Report Outlines Potential Improvements in Measuring Value of Data Flows

The Internet has extraordinary power to shrink the world -- to allow people separated by thousands of miles to more easily interact, learn from one another, and trade goods and services. These interactions are possible because of the incredible amounts of data that flows seamlessly across borders.

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