Empowering use of data in California

Read about the state data strategy, our open data policy, CalData Communities, and other initiatives on this page.

California State Data Strategy

As a society, we have tasked our governments with some of our most complex challenges, including educating our children, balancing public safety with social justice, and providing services to our most vulnerable. Good use of data is the tool we can use to navigate that complexity and ensure that our programs and services are working well for all Californians.

The mission of the Office of the Chief Data Officer is to empower use of data by ensuring the state has the infrastructure, processes, and people to manage, access, and use data efficiently, effectively, securely, and responsibly. By acting on our mission, we will realize our vision of better decisions, services, and outcomes for Californians through better use of data.

The state data strategy is structured around the analogy that in order to successfully navigate the “data landscape” we need to intentionally build the data roads, craft the rules of the road, and boost the drivers. Much like in the real world, we want to avoid data roads that lead to nowhere, are poorly maintained, or confuse our drivers. Our virtual data world requires the planning and care that we put into the roads and bridges of the real world.

Read the full strategy: Google doc or PDF.

California Open Data Policy

Open data is the proactive publication of government data so that it can be easily discovered, accessed, and used by people and computers (aka machine readable). In March of 2019, we published an Open Data Policy to support this commitment statewide. At a high level, the policy requires state entities to:

  • Prioritize and make data broadly available via open data portals under an open license, using non-proprietary formats, and accompanied by documentation and metadata
  • Create and maintain a data inventory
  • Ensure that data is appropriately protected commensurate with privacy and confidentiality risks

To read more, including the details of the policy, visit Open CA Data Policy.

Statewide Data portal is the statewide data portal where you can search for and access state datasets. While several state agencies host their own open data portals (view them here), was designed to host open data from more than one agency. We will continue to work with our open data partners in state government to add more data so that all of the state’s open data sets can be searched from, making it easier for Californians to discover and use state data.


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CalData Communities fosters data networks across state government. Learn more about how you can participate.

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