HHS Demand-Driven Open Data
The Demand-Driven Open Data program grew out of a desire to maximize the value of existing data assets across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It has led to improvements in the quality, relevance, and usefulness of HHS’ open data offerings, and provides a model that other government agencies could use as well.
DDOD works by giving stakeholders from industry, academia, nonprofits, and other government organizations a pathway to tell HHS what data they need and by creating a feedback loop that ensures follow-up and follow-through. It is more consistent and transparent than other engagement options such as one-off events and regulatory approaches. It also helps ensure that HHS is releasing its most relevant data by asking stakeholders what data they need that isn’t being released and how data that is released could be improved.
DDOD has had a range of positive effects on data quality, including improving machine-readability, helping identify and eliminate manual mistakes, and surfacing opportunities for standardization. A prime example has been the transformation of Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCO) data. Various related datasets were being published in PDF format, not being aggregated in a useful way, and not necessarily up to date. Thanks to DDOD, these issues were identified and simple solutions were put into place to ensure that the public has timely access to machine-readable MCO data.