By Judi Brown, CivicMakers

It’s a new year, and with it comes new opportunities for individuals and organizations to make data-driven decisions. As more and more data come online in the health and human services field, the need has become crucial for data stakeholders to collaborate statewide. However, oftentimes “big data” can be overwhelming, and create more confusion than insight. Further, there isn’t an online home for health data enthusiasts to collaborate and learn from each other.

Enter the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Data Commons project. In partnership with California Health Care Foundation, the Data Commons seeks to…

By Andy Krackov

Okay, I admit it: Even as an open data champion, I find that it’s often mundane to view data on a portal. Simple lists of datasets — and even the maps and charts you can create — don’t really show the intrinsic value of data that’s been freed to benefit communities.

To really capture the meaning and potential of such data, you need people to bring data to life — in the form of local collaborations, news stories, and apps that provide the audiences you’re trying to reach with easy access to information and services. It takes…

By Andy Krackov

Whenever they wanted to play outside, the kids who lived between Highway 41 and the Cargill meat processing plant in Fresno gathered at a vacant overgrown lot on Almy Street. Today that desolate lot has been transformed into a lively community playground and park — a new anchor in the neighborhood known as the 41 and North Corridor — because of community organizers who imagined new ways to use data and stories to make their case to local officials.

The community was accustomed to being disappointed by Fresno’s leaders. Local organizers there knew the city was reluctant…

By Xavier Leonard, San Diego Ambassador for the California Health Data Project

My partner, Eric Busboom of Civic Knowledge and I are working on a tool for the California Health Data Project, a tool that delivers presents.

I was a Latin nerd in high school, so when I think of data, the word’s Latin root, “dare” comes to mind. It’s a verb that means “to give.” The noun form of it, datum (singular of data) means “gift”. Because of efforts by groups like the California Health Data Project and Code for America, more and more data is becoming available. Unfortunately…

Tomorrow, Tim Nightingale our Fresno Health Ambassador along with the Fresno County Health Department for will be leading a bus tour in Fresno to explore some of the areas biggest health disparities compared with the rest of California for the State’s Health Department. The CA Health Data project will also be hosting an event to cover a wide variety of health issues.

At our last Brown Bag event in Sacramento at the California Healthcare Foundation, Jared Rutledge, a senior epidemiologist in the department and Sara Bosse, from the department’s Office of Policy, Planning and Communication spoke about an interactive map…

Last week, our Sacramento Health Data Ambassadors, Joel Riphagen and Ash Roughani wrote about the new role the California Health Data Project has created in civic tech for Techwire Magazine.

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Sacramento Ambassadors Joel Riphagen and Ash Roughani

Ash and Joel write:

“When the California Health Care Foundation launched the California Health Data Project last spring, it made a smart decision to create a new role in the civic innovation space. …

The CDPH has transitioned from its standalone Open Data portal to a microsite under the California Health and Human Services Agency’s (CHHS) Open Data portal.

CDPH Open Data datasets are now published alongside other CHHSA department microsites. This migration allows CDPH to contribute to the administration, outreach, and promotion of open data and leverage the cost sharing advantages of a single, centralized CHHS Open Data portal.


Living Wage

This table contains data on the living wage and the percent of families with incomes below the living wage for California, its counties, regions and cities/towns. Living…

Our Sacramento Health Data Ambassadors, Joel Riphagen and Ash Roughani have created a series video Q&As with folks from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).

The videos feature OSHPD’s Scott Christman, Chief Information Officer and Eric Reslock, Assistant Director, Legislative and Public Affairs.

In the videos, Scott talks about the long history of CHHS’ open data initiative:

And the importance of keeping data in the CHHS portal fresh and up to date.

Here are the links to all of the video answers from the Q&A:

  1. Can you describe your role at the California Health…

This Friday (February 12) at Open Data Fest, Andy Krackov from the California HealthCare Foundation will be moderating a panel about the California Health Data Project. Brian Purchia, director of the California Health Data Project will be on the panel as well.

For several years, the Bay Area has been on the leading edge of applying open data and data analytics to health and human services research, service innovations, and business problems. In this panel discussion, we will hear from local leaders who have successfully used open data and analytics to identify and address program and service challenges. Panelists will discuss what it takes to make meaningful use of open data in government, industry, and academia, and explore some of the lessons they have learned along the way.

Learn more at:

Earlier this month, the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) hosted its 6th California Health Data Brown bag. At the event, our colleagues and partners in the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) got to hear from health leaders in Sacramento and Fresno (two of our pilot cities), about the projects they’re currently working on with the state’s health data.

At the event, Jared Rutledge, a senior epidemiologist Fresno’s Department of Public Health spoke about an interactive map application the department has been working on to map the county’s health issues.

Below is a Q&A with Jared and our Fresno health…

California Health Data

Building a Bridge to Local Communities with California’s Health Data

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