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Volume 15, Issue 3 - September 2015

SSA Open Data seeks input from researchers

The Executive Order of May 9, 2013, Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information, established a framework to help institutionalize the principles of effective information management at each stage of the information’s life cycle to promote interoperability and openness. The Office of Management and Budget in its memorandum M-13-13 provided specific guidance for implementing an open data program in each agency.

SSA cannot publicly release much of its data because it is protected by the Privacy Laws, the Internal Revenue code, and other statutes. While some of the data can be anonymized, much of it cannot. Under certain conditions, the research community gains access to agency microdata, categorized as restricted public.

Open data has resulted in many new releases of data to the public with more data being released all the time. About 100 high value public datasets are listed and available at Major categories of high value data include information for researchers, statistical and survey data, performance quality information, language preference information, applications filed via the Internet, service to the public and case processing information, and disability program and processing data. The agency’s entire enterprise data inventory is a JSON file found at

SSA seeks input from data users. They are interested in:

how their data is being used,

the impact of the data,

suggestions for improving the usability of their data and for prioritizing the release of new public datasets.

SSA welcomes your comments and suggestions as part of the ongoing IdeaScale engagement found at