Data Innovation 101

November 4, 2013

WASHINGTON (November 4, 2013) - The world is on the cusp of a revolution in the use of data that will spur economic growth and improve quality of life. But while the potential is nearly limitless, many organizations have been slow to adopt data-driven technologies, and policymakers around the world must do more to spur the evolution and use of data innovation in both the public and private sectors.

To help policymakers better understand the potential of data innovation and its benefits for society, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation's Center for Data Innovation has released Data Innovation 101: An Introduction to the Technologies and Policies Supporting Data-Driven Innovation. The report provides a beginner's guide to the technology behind trends in "big data" and "open data" and presents a series of examples of how data innovation is being used to improve productivity, efficiency and quality of life in the public and private sectors. For example, the Centers for Disease Control is using social network analysis to better understand and stem the spread of communicable diseases and wind energy companies such as Vestas use complex weather models to determine the optimal locations for their turbines.

"There are incredible opportunities to leverage data to address important social issues and encourage economic growth," notes Daniel Castro, Director of the Center for Data Innovation and coauthor of the report. "However, to achieve the full potential of data-driven innovation, we need data-literate policymakers who are committed to developing the technical infrastructure and policy framework needed for a 'big data' world."

The report provides a series of recommendations for how policymakers can support data-driven innovation. These include improving education and training in data science, boosting federal investments in technology R&D, and reforming legal frameworks to further promote open data and data sharing.

Read the report.


The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at

Contact: Samantha Greene
Phone: (202) 626 5744