Additional Resources

Real-time improvements to the TDE process

The success of the TDE method relies on documenting and improving the TDE method in cities across the country.

We encourage cities to bring an iterative, constantly improving approach to their open data work — and we practice what we preach. As we hear from cities using these tactics and documenting best practices, we will update our online resources to reflect new learning and knowledge around how to implement the method.

In a similar way, this guide builds on previous work from the Sunlight Foundation and What Works Cities. Specifically, our two self-assessment tools can help you better understand your environment and foundations for using TDE.

  • “Finding tactic criteria” checklists: Figuring out how to get started with a major initiative can be challenging, so we developed this criteria document to help you sort through which of the tactics in Step 1 might be best for you. Read the description and check off the criteria for each tactic to determine what you have and what you still might need to start a TDE project.
  • “Refining an opportunity for TDE” worksheet: This tool is an activity intended for city or other government staff looking to do an internal brainstorming around potentially impactful TDE opportunities. This worksheet will help not substitute for actually carrying out the refining step of the TDE method. Instead, it will help you self-assess what doing this process “for real” might look like in your city. Use discussion questions to think through how you might develop a use case.
  • User Stories: A Manual: In Step 2 we discuss creating user personas, or detailed descriptions of the people will be using the open data in question. This manual provides more information about how to create user personas.

Finally, we want to hear from you. If you have engaged in some or all of the TDE process, if you are interested in helping Sunlight pilot this method, or if you have comments on this guide and its resources, tell us about it. Send us an email at with “TDE” in the subject line — we want to know what works, what doesn’t, and what we could be doing better.

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