NASA dashboard tracks open gov goals

Monday - 11/22/2010, 4:26pm EST

Nick Skytland, director, NASA open government initiative

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Agencies are making more data available in response to President Obama's Open Government Initiative. NASA is taking the directive one step further by putting its open government progress online.

NASA's dashboard tracks the open government goals the agency set in April.

The dashboard tracks goals at three months, six months, one year and two years. In a chart, the dashboard displays a description of the goals, the department responsible for meeting the goals and the status (complete or in progress).

"Ultimately, we're really trying institutionalize the philosophies and practices of open government," said Nick Skytland, head of NASA's open government initiative, in an interview with the DorobekINSIDER.

NASA is tracking 180 goals for the three- and six-month milestones, Skytland said. The agency has not met all of its goals, but the idea is to allow people to see NASA's process and give feedback, Skytland said.

Although people can submit ideas now, NASA is trying to make the comments feature "more intuitive," he said.

The challenge is to incentivize putting data online and getting the public to participate, Skytland said. All of this is part of an ongoing learning process, he said.

"It's not a final project," Skytland said.

He added that NASA is "an exciting place to work because you're government in beta. You're experimenting. You can make mistakes."

NASA is working with other agencies on their own dashboards that will be launched in the near future, Skytland said.