The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Center for Open Data Enterprise are co-hosting an open data roundtable at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building May 6 to form a collaborative network between VA and data users.

Open data, particularly machine-readable information, is data made available to the public by government agencies that can provide a great deal of valuable information to researchers and advocates.

By becoming allies with those across the public and private sectors — data scientists, developers, researchers, entrepreneurs and others — we can create a culture that facilitates a sustainable source of innovative solutions based on relevant data.

Through the sharing of information and data, we will be able to analyze the systems such as those surrounding appointment wait lists and the disability claims backlog and make them better and more efficient.

As the largest integrated health care system in the United States, the VA’s Veterans Health Administration serves as a vast resource for patient-related data including diagnoses and successful treatments among approximately 9 million Veterans.

Through transparency and collaboration VA will answer the questions of how it might empower doctors to make the most efficient and effective judgments regarding treatment, support clinical decisions or assist researchers to discover new treatments while simultaneously protecting Veterans’ identities while encouraging groundbreaking medical discoveries.

The diversity of today’s Veterans is an opportunity to inform VA employees and the country about the demographics, motivations and experiences of this population, while communicating their relatable human needs.

VA can also use information to refine tools and outreach to best support the holistic needs of Veterans, and replicate the seamless experiences that more often occur in the private sector. It is time to deliver on the promise of “MyVA” expectations.

The roundtable will kick-off a series of data innovation conversations leading up to the Analytics Powering Outcomes for Veterans Summit, a Veteran-centered analytics event from June 29 through July 1.

For more information, contact us via email at and

RHG HeadshotRachel Harrison-Gordon is currently serving as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where she is applying data analysis to efforts that focus on effectively reaching and supporting America’s Veterans. This initiative will empower VA to continuously map data-driven observations to the organization’s strategic plan and customer needs, supporting Secretary McDonald’s goal to “regularly and accurately produce key data for decision-makers and oversight entities.”

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Published on May. 5, 2015

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