Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2010 (Revised May 2010)

by Karim R. Lakhani, Robert D. Austin and Yumi Yi


This case presents the logic and execution underlying the launch of, an instantiation of President Obama's initiative for transparency and open government. The process used by Vivek Kundra, the federal CIO, and his team to rapidly develop the website and to make available high-value data sets for reuse is highlighted. The case recounts Kundra's experience at the state and local government levels in developing open data initiatives and the application of that experience to the federal government. The case demonstrates the benefits of making government data available in terms of both engaged citizens and the potential for new innovations from the private sector. Potential drawbacks of open access including security and privacy issues are illustrated. Issues related to the role of government in releasing data and the balance between accountability and private-sector innovation are explored.      

Keywords: Safety; Rights; Data and Data Sets; Internet; Ethics; Cost vs Benefits; Innovation and Management; Information Management; Public Administration Industry; Information Industry; United States;


Lakhani, Karim R., Robert D. Austin, and Yumi Yi. "" Harvard Business School Case 610-075, May 2010. (Revised May 2010.)