The Socrata Open Government Data Benchmark Study reveals strong support for Open Data among citizens and government employees alike. 67.9% of citizens and 92.6% of government employees believe if data is public it should be available online. Moreover, citizens, by a 3 to 1 margin, are more likely to vote for politicians who champion Open Government. The study also shows that progress has been made with 55.6% of government organizations reporting they have a mandate to share public data with their constituents and 48.1% already publish data in some fashion.
Open Data in government is a part of a growing movement where enlightened policy encourages the use of cloud computing, web 2.0 and social technologies to promote government transparency and citizen participation. Thought leaders from across the policy and technology spectrum have long advocated for a more open government and more accessible government data. The driving force behind Open Government Data is the belief that data is a strategic asset that should be shared with the public to increase government accountability, deliver services more efficiently and stimulate economic growth.