Virginia Open Data Portal
The Virginia Open Data Portal serves to extend access to Commonwealth data empowering our constituents to interpret, analyze, and transform our data into actionable intelligence. Secure and appropriate data sharing is fundamental to the success of our society because information supports engagement. Commonwealth data is a strategic asset that when leveraged, can drive innovation, increase quality of life, and promote economic growth. The Virginia Open Data Portal provides more than just data access. Within the portal, you can view stories and dashboards, create visualizations, filter data, and access it via APIs (application programming interfaces) to build solutions in web and mobile applications. The Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to continue growing the number of open datasets available through the portal facilitating public participation and engagement.
Enterprise Data Catalog
The Enterprise Data Catalog is an inventory of the Commonwealth’s data assets. This repository of data combined with metadata is a powerful tool for self-service business intelligence, empowering Commonwealth agencies to make more informed decisions. The Commonwealth Metadata Dictionary is accessible to everyone, supporting data discovery and sharing. Metadata is essentially “data about data” or what is needed to enable the discovery and use of data by a defined set of users. This includes names of data tables, data elements within the tables and views, descriptions of the data elements, and how it is related to other data that individuals might want to use. The metadata provides valuable context about data assets that enable individuals to share data in useful ways. Well-defined metadata can enable the transformation of data into intelligence and actionable insight. Some metadata contains information relevant to the retention and archiving requirements for data and allows organizations to track data assets for compliance purposes. Finally, when fully documented, metadata contains provenance and sourcing information that enables data analysts and data scientists to accurately cite data for research purposes.
Metadata standards are important to help ensure interoperability between systems and enhance the discovery of, and access to, data.
Commonwealth Data Trust
The Commonwealth Data Trust, implemented by the Chief Data Officer, is a safe, secure, and legally compliant information sharing environment that establishes consistent requirements for trust members through a standardized data sharing agreement process. The data trust provides a scalable alternative to multiple “point-to-point” sharing, promotes trust among its members through common rules for data security, privacy, and confidentiality and reduces technical costs by onboarding to a single environment using standard NIEM protocols. The Data Trust will ensure and support data discovery and analytics for agencies and organizations across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Data Trust Agreement - this establishes the relationship between the data provider and the trustee (CDO). This agreement is used for organizations contributing data into the data trust. Signing this agreement doesn't mean the entity gets access to trust member-contributed data.
Data Trust Agreement Amendment Form - this document is used when a data provider needs to amend their data trust agreement to include new data, new constraints, or any other changes to the trust agreement exhibits.
Data Trust User Agreement - this describes the relationship between the trust and recipients of trust member-contributed restricted-use data. This agreement is primarily for organizations that have projects that need access to restricted-use trust data. Agencies can act as trust users, but this is mostly for organizations like academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and localities to be able to consume trust resources.
Data Trust Individual User Non-Disclosure Agreement - this document lays out the roles and responsibilities individuals have with regard to using and safeguarding restricted-use trust data. Every team member on a data trust user project must have a signed NDA on file in order to access trust resources (no exceptions).
DataSAGE is Virginia’s Secure Analytics and Governance Environment and launched August 2020. The Commonwealth of Virginia has over 1,400 different data systems that hold open and restricted data assets that include de-identified data as well as personally identifiable information (PII). The ability to link information about individuals across multiple systems relies on matching PII across these systems in a secure way. To increase efficiency and remove vulnerabilities in sharing PII, the Chief Data Officer created the Commonwealth Data Trust. Essentially, DataSAGE is the technical implementation of the Commonwealth Data Trust. The PII data from different systems are ingested into a consolidated, secure environment managed by the Office of the Chief Data Officer to build an anonymized crosswalk creating a master person identifier for each unique individual. This universal identifier is then mapped to the local identifier for that same individual in whatever system they may exist. The anonymized crosswalk table is used to match the de-identified attribute data for an individual across multiple systems. De-identified attribute data may include fields like gender, driver’s license status, participation in social service programs, etc.
DataSAGE facilitates sharing of restricted-use data with research partners, state agencies, Commonwealth localities, and other organizations whose projects have been approved by the appropriate data owners.
Restricted-use data can be aggregated and summarized to allow for public consumption through the Open Data Portal. A variety of different data products can be automatically published directly to the Open Data Portal. This process and these decisions are governed by the Data Governance Council. Learn more about the data documentation process that occurs before the restricted data assets reach DataSAGE.
View the DataSAGE Marketecture Diagram.