South Dakota is opening up some of its fiscal data. Dennis Daugaard signed an Executive Order this week that will require regular open data disclosures on information related to state revenue, expenditure and cash balance. The move is welcome, specifically, that the state is pushing for fiscal data which are sources of important information about the public’s business.
The data will be presented in a dashboard format and provide a partial view of what the state is doing budget-wise. However, more steps will be needed in the future to make this a true open data program. Most specifically, the data provided will need to be machine readable and usable for analysis.
South Dakota has been slow to adopt transparency and open data initiatives, however, the government has taken limited steps in recent years to improve. The state already provides data on how it uses tax expenditures each year, however other data sets will remain opaque without additional disclosure requirements.
The dashboard is likely to reflect the monthly paper reports the Governor himself gets about high level spending across the government.