“Uncertainty”
is the word which best describes the atmosphere in Washington, DC as the city
prepares for the new administration. This uncertainty is driving traffic
to  a relatively new product called  VoxGov.  The VoxGov website
offers a treasure-trove of hidden government data and an alerting system for anyone trying to understand
track  the statements and positions of government agencies and officials
related to  any issue. At last count Voxgov contained over 26 million government documents.

VoxGov “Hacking” trends
The
government information that lawyers normally rely upon such as statutes and
regulations only represents about 10% of the VoxGov database. The vast majority
of  government materials in VoxGov are collected from over 14,000 government
websites. The document types include: Press Releases, News, Notices, Columns,
Articles, Op-Eds, Decisions, Opinions, Orders, Events, Media Advisories, Fact
Sheets, Newsletters, Bulletins, Recalls, Alerts, Reports, Publications,
Speeches, Statements, Remarks, Testimony, and Transcripts, along with Social
Media from official government sources, Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and more.
VoxGov only collects information authored or adopted by the U.S. Federal Government and published  on official government websites .All of the data is enriched with extensive metadata which supports sophisticated filtering and trending.
Prescription Drug – Tracking
VoxGov is the brainchild of an Australian
attorney Robert Dessau. After passing the New York State bar, Dessau  built a
successful consulting business working with Australian technology companies
seeking U.S. market entry. During this time he recognized the difficulty of
accessing valuable information  generated by agencies of the U.S.
Government. Based on this overwhelming need, Dessau has been dedicated to
building and developing the back-end systems and know-how for the VoxGov
platform that exists today.

Dessau
moved from collecting documents to analyzing trends and parsing the people,
agencies, parties and issues stirring the pot of government advocacy and
regulation. He built  a system for indexing and analyzing the reports and
data produced by over 9,000 US  government sources. Today VoxGov also
includes over 24 million social media posts. . Even though the US government has migrated
much of their standard legislative and regulatory materials online the vast
majority of government information remains hidden even though it is in digital
format.

No You
Can’t Google This Stuff.
Years ago I heard Ralph Nader remark that US
Government reports were a goldmine of data that no one wanted to read…. Their
plain brown covers and austere typeface screamed “boring.”  Those were the
bad old days before the digital revolution and for those of you who that
thought all government data was just a google search away from your
eyeballs….  Voxgov will show you just how wrong you are.  According
to Dessau less than 1% of all government documents are available on the web.
VoxGov’s proprietary technology visits over US government  14,600 web
destinations on algorithmically generated intervals, in search of new documents
published to any of these source sites.



Cybersecurity- related terms, people agencies

The Trump Effect  In recent weeks Voxgov’s
phones have been ringing “off the hook.” The Voxgov  team has fielded
requests from  a wide variety of stakeholders needing to glean some
insights into the new administration. Inquiries include: A  city facing a
budget crisis if federal funding to Sanctuary Cities is withdrawn;  A bank
reading contradictory indicators on economic policy under the next administration; 
A pharmaceutical group preparing to navigate a new legislative and regulatory
environment.   According to Dessau, people are turning to Voxgov to
address  a common need  “for the ability to telescope into who in is
saying what on relevant and pressing issues in government.” 

What Do
You Need to Know
? VoxGov allows  users to analyze material generated by
government reports on any topic and to visualize the information using
timelines graphs and word clouds. 

·        
All of the data updates every 15 to 30 minutes.

·        
There is live trending of the most active issues in the past 24
hours.

·        
Measurement of tone of social commentary

·        
Everything in the system can be shared legally because it is all
public domain


Key Functions: 

Monitor

  • All branches of government
  • 9,000+ Sources
  • ~20K News Docs Daily
  • Updated 24×7
  • 50+ Document Types

Analyze        
Extensive use of data tagging and patented filtering technologies
provides unique views and insights including analysis trends over time

  •        
    Data visualizations
  •         
    52 Timeline Graphs
  •         
    Multi-year comparisons
  •        
    Extensive Document Tagging

Track      
Keep up to date with   custom-built tools that
enable easy sharing of valuable information across teams and third parties.

  • ·        
    Custom Feeds
  • ·        
    Save Searches
  • ·        
    Receive Alerts
  • ·        
    Compile Folders
  • ·        
    Generate Reports

Trend        
VoxGov highlights significant changes in issue activity levels
coming from within the government conversation throughout the day.

  • ·        
    Multi-Point Trending
  • ·        
    75 Trending Options
  • ·        
    15 Minute Updates
  • ·        
    Rapid Drill-Down
  • ·        
    Frequency Monitor

Responsiveness
to customer needs

Until
now, VoxGov was primarily marketed to academic libraries. When Dessau asked me
to evaluate the product for a law firm environment, I suggested that the alert
features needed to be  “fine-tuned” in order to appeal to practicing
lawyers who bill by the minute. Lawyers don’t want to be overwhelmed with
results they want to see the most relevant materials first and they want to
understand why a document is relevant to their interests. Within a few weeks,
Dessau returned and had implemented  almost all the new features I had
suggested including, sorting alert results  by relevance, highlighting
relevant keywords in alerts, automatically deduping results ( now handled by
grouping reissued documents under a single heading) , social media results are
grouped separately from government releases. 

VoxGov
is clearly a resource addressing the specialized need of lobbying and government affairs professional.  The product also offers unique materials for researchers and lawyers in any regulatory practice
as well as a wide variety of litigation needs. Litigators can use government materials
to locate experts, government studies and data to support or disputed facts as well as to pinpoint the timing of government actions. While the standard legal research systems, Lexis, Westlaw, Bloomberg BNA and Wolters Kluwer offer the  traditional primary sources for statutes and regulations, such as the US Code, the CFR, the Federal Register and the Congressional Records and Congressional Reports, none of them have taken on the development of an archive comparable to that amassed by VoxGov.
  • Anonymous

    some pricing information would be nice…