Open government data is a valuable resource that can be used by citizens and businesses of the state to fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, and scientific discovery. Data is "open" when it is offered free of charge, without restrictive licenses, with good descriptive "metadata" so you can understand it, and is searchable and downloadable in a common, structured format readily usable by computer code.
With ingenuity and access, any member of the public can dream up and create an application that is commercially or recreationally useful to others. Publishing open data in open formats is a transformational step, making government transparency actionable by the people who the government has been created to serve. It increases government transparency, effectiveness, and accountability, allowing government agencies as well as citizens to browse, interpret trends, and draw attention to issues with greater efficiency.