from DSSResources.com

Website's lofty goal: data dashboard for a democratic society

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 6, 2006 -- Everyday journalists assign importance to world events, thereby deciding which stories will gain public attention. Unfortunately, the task inherent in the job of a journalist inevitably leads to certain gaps in public knowledge of local and world issues, as well as allegations of bias in news reporting. A new website, called Data360, plans to address this problem by providing a collaborative data-tracking website where people can find, present and share data regarding local, national and global issues. Access to information on the site will allow everyone to take more responsibility for their education and opinions.

"As a former Chief Financial Officer, as well as a person who loves data and the stories told by the data, I started thinking about how ordinary people get information about the status of their world," explains Data360 Founder, Tom Paper. "I was often frustrated by the 'news' that I got from newspapers and magazines, which are challenged by their drive for circulation. Neither magazines nor newspapers are built like a business report, which addresses important issues in a repeated and graphical fashion over a long period of time."

Data360 has been called a "data dashboard for a democratic society," an "online data almanac" and a "wiki for data." At Data360, people can find, present and share data, as well as make calculations and correlations between datasets from different sources. In particular, Data360 sees itself helping small businesses, academics, non-profits and governmental organizations with the storage, collaboration and presentation of their important data.

Data360 is comprised of a series of organizations where people can post and share data. The main organization, found at http://www.data360.org, is managed by the creators of the website and is non-partisan. User organizations, which can be partisan, are given away to anyone willing to share their data with the public; an example user organization might be newtithing.data360.org. Those wanting to keep their information private can store their data for a monthly fee, while still maintaining access to public information on the site.

Data360 was officially launched on October 6, 2006. A version 2.0 is already in process and will include enhanced charting features, xml updating of datasets, as well a critics rating system for information presented. For more information, please email Tom Paper (tom@data360.org).



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