CHHS Open Data Portal — An Introduction and How-To

CHHS-Open-Data-Logo-Final

The CHHS Open Data Portal seeks to spark innovation, promote research and economic opportunity, engage public participation in government, increase transparency, provide journalistic/media information, and inform policy decision making.

The portal provides access to data that can be easily retrieved, combined, downloaded, sorted, searched, analyzed, and visualized by diverse audiences that includes individuals, businesses, researchers, journalists, software developers, health processionals, and government. With many audiences in mind, the site offers a wealth of features and functionalities. Utilizing the Socrata open data solution, a key selling point of the platform is the application programming interfaces (API) that allow application developers to automatically consume the most current CHHS data into their respective applications.

Landing Page

The Landing Page
The landing page presents such high-level topic filters for Diseases and Conditions, Facilities and Services, Healthcare, Workforce, Environment, Demographics, as well as a specific area for Developers. Additionally, the large search bar at the top provides a powerful way to explore the data on the portal.

Catalog

The Catalog
The “All Data” filter selection presents an easy-to-navigate catalog that includes an entry for each open dataset available on the portal. The catalog offers filtering by key-word, data type, and the various CHHS departments publishing to the site. A pull-down menu also allows for easy sorting of the datasets in the catalog.

 

Metadata
A comprehensive metadata schema provides rich, easy-to-understand documentation describing each dataset on the portal. Metadata are critical to delivering the meaning of the data on the portal to consumers of these data. Click the “About” button when viewing a dataset to access the metadata.

 

How-To Videos
Because the portal services the data needs of users spanning a range from tech-savvy app developers to non-technical journalists and health professionals, the site’s high-level nav-bar offers introductory how-to videos on searching, sorting, and filtering datasets, as well as more sophisticated functionalities like creating point maps and bar charts.

 

Developer Resources
A developer-focused resource area offers Socrata-based tools and facilities that include API documentation, libraries, and Software Development Kits (SDKs), as well as more specific resources targeting app developers and data publishers.

 

Open Data Handbook

The CHHS Open Data Handbook is a tremendous resource that includes an introduction to open data and the data portal, governance policies, a glossary of open data terminology and technologies, as well as open data tools and related government data portals.

The CHHS Open Data Program welcomes questions, comments, and suggestions at opendata@chhs.ca.gov.