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Meet Our People: Matt Kirby

Matt Kirby has a passion for data and using it to improve the lives of citizens. From helping found the Open Indy Brigade – a group of technologists, subject matter experts, innovators, and more who share a passion for the use of public data and open source technology to improve the community – to his day-to-day role assisting the public sector with data transparency efforts, Matt is making an impact in the world of data.

Open data is a passion of yours. Share with us a little bit about that.
Over the years, I have sensed a growing disconnect between citizens and the public sector, and I believe open data and transparency are foundational in restoring this gap. This belief motivated me to find ways to not only bridge the gap but to make it my mission to ensure the growing pool of data within the public sector is being used for the betterment of society.

What is the Open Indy Brigade? Why did you help start it?
The Open Indy Brigade was founded on the principle that data should be readily available in the service of citizens. Historically, while the public sector has been open to sharing information with citizens, the data was often difficult to find, unusable, or lacking pertinence. So, we began to ask the question: what can we do to make government data not just transparent, but take it further, making the data useable? We formed the Brigade to help initiate the conversation in the public sector around how we change the mindset from simply providing data to thinking through how information is used, who is using it, and why they are using it. The main goal we strive to achieve is making government more efficient and effective through the application of the right technology and data.

How do you apply your passion for open data to life at KSMC?
Much of the work that I do at KSMC is for the public sector. I am currently involved in several initiatives that I consider to be a part of a larger data transparency effort. My role within many of these projects is helping clients think through a strategic approach to transparency. How do we leverage the data we have on hand – often from various data sources – bring it all together, and then make it available in a format that is useful to the public?

With laws changing slower than the rate of technology and possibility, this often includes having to adjust processes that surround the use of data. Simply stated, my role is to help bring order to a siloed transparency landscape.

Following up with that, what is your favorite aspect of working at KSMC?
Summarized in one word: impact. I consider the best part of my day the opportunity to work on projects that will lead to meaningful change and have a real impact on people. Every day, we are talking about things that could save lives and that is very exciting.

Just for fun…as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a game show host. Not just any game show – specifically the Price is Right. Sometimes I still have that dream. While I believe I could fill Drew Carey’s shoes, Bob Barker’s might have been a bit more difficult.

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