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Granicus Insights

Getting Started

Granicus Open Data is a tool that makes publishing and managing open data straightforward. Below are some highlights about Granicus Open Data, and you can get more detailed information about how Granicus Open Data works in the Site Manager Playbook.  

What's Granicus Open Data for? 

Granicus Open Data is about making it easier to make your data open and accessible. We believe that data is one of the most powerful assets an organization can unlock--especially government. Open data has the potential to create economic opportunity, help make better decisions, and improve program outcomes.

It's quickly becoming the standard practice of all levels of government, but data and content management can present a daunting challenge. Granicus Open Data, makes it easy to be compliant with open data initiatives, maintain data quality, and create engaging sites for citizens to interact with and connect with data.

What Does Granicus Open Data Do?

Use data to tell stories and draw out insights

One of the greatest challenges in open data today is demonstrating its value, both in the short and long term. With storytelling features like Data Stories and Dashboards combined with insights from data visualization tools in Granicus Open Data, you can transform your data from rows and columns to be relevant to the citizens viewing it. Granicus Open Data's storytelling and insights capabilities help you curate your data to show a clear, tangible return on investment. 

Manage data as content

Data is possibly one of the greatest, yet most underutilized, assets agencies have at their disposal. But with the sheer volume and snowballing complexity of data management organizations are challenged to effectively leverage their data. On Granicus Open Data, data is content. Because Granicus Open Data is built on a user-friendly content management system, you can painlessly manage the many datasets on your Granicus Open Data site, moderate content for quality control, and include different levels of users to contribute the most up-to-date data–regardless of technical expertise. 

Make data available and accessible

Collecting data into a central platform is just the beginning of what you can do with Granicus Open Data. As data becomes a integral piece to daily life for decision-makers and the communities they serve, it's not enough to just release information. In a raw form, data is usable to a small group of skilled professionals experienced in data analysis. But when data is made accessible to technologists, entrepreneurs, citizens, and even other internal agencies the possibilities are endless. From robust APIs for technical data consumers to narrative Data Stories and Charts, you can use Granicus Open Data to take data from simply available to truly accessible for a range of data consumers. 

Follow open data standards and stay flexible

Launching and maintaining a successful open data program is a significant and ongoing undertaking. Not only must the data be made open and publicly available, it must also follow a set of guided best practices and standards. This infrastructure leads to greater systemic changes in the way that data is collected and used. Standards guide in building the foundation, but flexibility and extensibility are key to the ongoing health of an open data program. Granicus Open Data follows the best practices outlined in Project Open Data by default, and its open source technology means that you can adapt to changing circumstances. Both compliant and flexible, with Granicus Open Data your open data infrastructure meets standards and adapts for greater sustainability. 

How does Granicus Open Data Work?

Data on a Content Management System (CMS)

A Content Management System (CMS) allows you to create and manage content like pages on a site, blog posts, pictures, videos, etc. On Granicus Open Data, data is handled as content. That means that you can upload datasets and their metadata in a user-friendly interface. You can combine many types of content together with Granicus Open Data tools like Dashboards. You can find all your content (data) in one place and easily create, edit, and delete content as you need to. Using a CMS means less time with the technical nuts and bolts and more time for making complex data meaningful to citizens.


Granicus Open Data is based on Drupal, an open source Content Management System (CMS). There are three important factors for choosing Drupal: 

  1. It's open source. That means that talented developers around the world are able to make contributions to extending and improving Drupal. It also means that the platform, and by extension Granicus Open Data, can be specialized as new needs arise. 
  2. Many government agencies already use Drupal. At all levels there is a need for websites that are easy to use for a range of users. Because of its power and usability many government agencies choose Drupal--that makes using Granicus Open Data even easier. 
  3. Drupal is long-established. Drupal has evolved to include complex functions like robust user management, which simply wouldn't be possible on less mature platforms. That maturity meets the needs of equally mature and complex organizations characteristic of government. 

Enterprise open source

You may have heard the term "open source" before; it means that the source code of a technology product is made open and available for re-use. The authors can determine how the code is allowed to be used with licenses, not unlike open data. So the product is free and the code can be re-used, what makes it enterprise?

Granicus offers support packages for launching, implementing, and maintaining your Granicus Open Data site, providing value in support and guidance in best practices. Granicus Open Data itself is open source so that government organizations truly own it and can run it how they want. No vendor lock-in. That's the power of open source, and it's a growing trend in the tech sector. We think it can be a trend that transforms the way government operates. Granicus Open Data is a complete solution that is both enterprise-level and open source. 

Next up

Read the Site Manager Playbook for more details on how to use Granicus Open Data. 


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