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It’s pretty exciting when the White House contacts you. For the Real Estate Standards Organization, it was truly an historic moment: being invited as a participant in the first “White House Open Data Innovation Summit.” Imagine how I felt just a couple of months ago being able to represent RESO and talk face-to-face with the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, discussing the growing accomplishments that together, we are providing the real estate industry.

What was more impressive was the affirmation by Megan Smith, CTO of the U.S., of the work RESO has already accomplished – specifically, our work with the Better Buildings Home Energy Information Accelerator. Having the opportunity to be selected as a lightning round speaker for a session chaired by Dan Morgan, Chief Data Officer for the U.S. Department of Transportation, that included “a select panel of industry and government leaders showcasing their unique value and contributions to open data” was truly an honor. It also was a remarkable opportunity to share what RESO is and does with one of the most influential groups we could address.

About the Summit

The “White House Open Data Innovation Summit” was also held in conjunction with the “Data Transparency 2016” conference in late September. These meetings drew some 500 government, technology, and open data standards organization leaders who attended this by-invitation-only event.

The Summit emphasized the value of U.S. government data being used to fuel American innovations around economic growth, connected communities, transportation, energy, climate resilience, and public health for all Americans. Keynote speakers included the Chief Data Scientist, the Chief Technology Officer and the Chief Information Officer for the United States.

More than 40 data companies of various types provided Expo exhibits, including the Green Button Alliance, who also spoke regarding data in the energy space and opportunities within the real estate sector. Much of the focus of the sessions focused on best practices and success stories from both the private and nonprofit sectors showcasing the impact open data had on society.

RESO at the White House Summit

For the RESO presentation, I was able to share the work accomplished with our innovative Data Dictionary and the path it is providing for governmental data in the energy space and how it can flow into MLS property listings from both agent input and auto-population from various governmental entities in a standardized manner. I was able to demonstrate possible data flows with the most recent version of the RESO Data Dictionary by leveraging the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification mapped with the RESO Data Dictionary. It was simply exhilarating for the work of RESO to be showcased at a White House forum.

One of the great takeaways was the positive effect that open data is having in powering increased ecommerce across multiple industries. It’s increasing transparency for the consumers of ecommerce and for real estate, that means home sellers and buyers are among the big winners.

Finally, when you think about the scope of the audience in attendance and its pervasive influences, this opportunity was inspiring for our future work. This first Summit brought together the top decision makers throughout the government and a variety of crucial industries to focus on one thing: open data solutions and data-driven innovations at all scales of government — local, state, and federal — and put an emphasis on community solutions, opportunities, and inclusiveness, which are being accomplished not only through RESO and our work with the Green Button Alliance and the Orange Button Alliance, but many other massive efforts, including The Opportunity ProjectPolice Data Initiative, and Data-Driven Justice.

A follow up report – “The State of the Union of Open Data, 2016” – extrapolates from many of the issues that were discussed at the “Data Transparency 2016” conference. Again, for RESO, this helped us reach an important new audience as we took a seat at the table of leaders who will help determine open data standards for every industry and every sector of government.

DLU November 30th, 2016