This entry is a consensus recommendation of seven organizations that work on government transparency of which OpenTheGovernment.org is one.
Some of the currently posted files are quite large, ranging upward to several hundred megabytes. Their large size undermines their usefulness for most people or organizations. The large number of currently posted datasets also makes it difficult to find a particular database of interest. We therefore recommend that if a Data.gov dataset is available from an agency through a web-based interface, Data.gov link to that interface on the dataset's Data.gov landing page. For a consumer looking for information on a car seat, for example, it would be far easier to search the Department of Transportation's online database rather than scrolling through screen after screen of raw data in XML format. Additionally, as agencies continue to post datasets to Data.gov, efforts should be made to identify those of greatest public interest that lack such interfaces and develop web interfaces that allow the data to be explored online.