Day 23: Make data public
I can't tell you how many times I've seen surveys that ask for the same kinds of information. One month it's for Agency ABC, the next month it's for Agency XYZ, and so on. Often times this could be avoided if people made their data available to the public, or a centralized agency was in charge of collecting this information for use by all agencies and private organizations seeking grant funds or crafting interventions, etc.
Census Data is a great example of this. It's accessible to everyone. However, Census data is outdated after a few years. So what's the solution?
Here is my proposal: Collate information and make it available on a state website with particular agencies responsible for updating that information each year for their particular sphere of influence: healthcare, crime, education, transportation, etc in their geographic radius based in census tracts so it can be over-laid with other kinds of data. This way the entire state is covered and everyone is using the same data, not slightly different versions of data gathered from slightly different questions or slightly different geographic measurements.
Data is a powerful tool, but it is being misused and communities are being over-taxed in some cases to provide answers to things they may have responded to already.
We can create a more coordinated data collection system. If you need help with this, let's talk.
Adria is a community development consultant. She loves all things local and when she's not writing online you can find her enjoying the outdoors.