In 2012, the City of Palo Alto designed and deployed a platform for making it easy for departments to publicly post raw data and for a wide variety of community stakeholders to access that data. In addition, this open data technology enabled computer applications to consume records directly, eliminating any human intervention. In effect, we created government-as-a-platform.
We developed and deployed the platform in just six weeks working with a local software-as-a-service vendor. Central to our plan was a lean start-up approach that moved quickly from idea to implementation. This entailed rolling out a basic set of features quickly and then iteratively improving the solution after it went live. Finally, it was essential to keep all costs low, so we focused on a solution that delivered just enough capability and no more. The platform can be accessed here: http://data.cityofpaloalto.org.