A Better Model For HealthCare.gov Is Weather.gov

Patrick Thibodeau | Computerworld | October 27, 2013

Instead of beating up the government for its HealthCare.gov rollout, let’s look at what the U.S. gets right. It excels at providing data to businesses, individuals, application developers, researchers, or anyone with a need for it.

Demand for federal data is increasing, especially with the arrival of mobile applications and big data analysis tools. To meet this demand, in 2009 the Obama administration created Data.gov. This site has nearly 100,000 data sources.

But the mother of all government data providers may be the National Weather Service. It collects data globally from weather stations, satellites, balloons and buoys, and then crunches it on its supercomputers to produce its products.

You can go to Weather.gov and look up your weather.  But you are more likely to go to Weather.com or a local TV station, all of which rely on the same government data. These alternative providers understand how to reach consumers and add value to the information.