Gov’t Data Opened Up by California Nonprofit
California Common Sense (CACS), the non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to opening government data to the public, recently launched a Socrata-powered online transparency portal for its users. The portal offers citizens the unique opportunity to research and analyze the issues that matter to them, in an easily navigable format.
The site is free to use, and provides users access to large datasets that can be completely customized and visualized for a variety of uses. Of the initial information included in the portal, the most accessed are datasets on funding for K – 12 students, national Medicaid spending, and California city and state employee salaries. The information can be filtered and sorted by date, type, service category, and more. It can then be exported into a variety of user-friendly formats, such as XLS, PDF or CSV.
With the launch of their transparency portal, CACS hopes to encourage citizen engagement and open the lines of communication between policy makers and the people affected by the policies. Easy access to raw data supports that process.