In Colorado, there is an ongoing effort to ensure the accessibility of public data in the business community. As a matter of fact, Wayne Williams, the Secretary of State in Colorado, believes that public data is an asset that should be readily accessible to the people of the state, especially business decision makers.
In his goal for public data accessibility, he launched a new site where business owners and leaders could raise questions about acquiring public data and making use of it to formulate better business decisions. The venture could lead to higher profits.
Go Code Colorado
Just recently, Williams’ office launched Go Code Colorado, a website that features an apps challenge that will help make public data more user-friendly and accessible.
In the apps challenge, teams in each of the five cities in Colorado will battle it out to create apps that utilize public data to help business come up with more intelligent decisions. Two teams from each city will advance in the competition. They will receive guidance from a network of mentors to help them develop their ideas further. The teams will then meet up for the final event where they will pitch their concepts to the judges.
Those entering the Go Code Colorado Challenge should visit the Go Code Colorado website and register in one of the five Challenge Weekend events. Participants will need to develop a computer application addressing the business challenge. They must also utilize at least one publicly available dataset found in the Colorado Information Marketplace.
Participants may join in the Challenge Weekend in one of the five cities of Go Code Colorado, namely Grand Junction, Fort Collins, Durango, Colorado Springs, or Denver.
Judges will evaluate each team that qualifies for the Challenge Weekend events based on five criteria: innovation/impact, implementation, quality/code review, presentation, and use of data sources.
Innovation/impact counts as 20 percent of the total score. Teams should clearly present how their idea is different and unique from what’s currently available on the market. It should also show how business decision makers will use the product.
Implementation accounts for 20 percent of the overall rating. Teams must present the feasibility of the app idea.
Another 20 percent would go to quality/code review. Judges will determine if the app is well-built. In addition, independent analysts will conduct a code review, which the judges will use to determine the quality score.
Another 10 percent of the final score will go to the actual presentation. Teams must successfully and convincingly explain to the judges on how their idea can fix a problem for a business decision maker using public data.
The final criterion, use of data sources, is 30 percent of the total score. Teams must show how they analyzed and combined the data to formulate new insights to help a business decision maker.
Prizes of the Winning Teams
The best three teams will get to sign a one-year agreement with the state. In addition, one of the three teams will also receive $25,000 to keep their business idea and app going.
The agreement gives the winning teams the license to use the intellectual property developed during the competition. Go Code Colorado, in return, would ask the winning teams to maintain the software and supply analytics on the software’s usage.
After one year, the winning team automatically acquires all the intellectual property and software they had developed. The team may also obtain these two prizes earlier if they can accumulate gross or financing revenues of at least $50,000 before the agreement ends.
A More Dynamic Online Brainstorming Approach
Andrew Cole, head of the Secretary of State’s Business Intelligence Center, thinks of the Go Code Colorado as a form of online brainstorming. Cole believes that this approach is more dynamic as people can readily see what ideas other people are posting and how it could kindle the imagination. The latest online site is also meant to complement app development efforts.
What Businesses Can Expect from Go Code Colorado Going Forward
Williams hopes that this new site will pave the way for a dialogue where business owners ask for the data they need from the state and how they will use it. Furthermore, he’s also looking for ways on how public data can generate business insights. For instance, when people offer a problem or pose a question regarding their business, others can chime in and provide a comment.