President Obama’s directive to make federal data more accessible and useful is a nice idea. But clearly, he doesn't have the slightest idea of what it takes to create digital interfaces to data that can work all the time across multiple platforms and without glitches.

Just as a simple example: a major bank for which I do contract work had paid a group of programmers to create an accounting program. After three years and having spent several million dollars, they fired the group because the software still didn't work. Creating digital tools, applications, and interfaces is not easy work. If it were, everyone would be doing it.

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