Stae partners with Guilford County to Launch new Open Data Portal

Crystal Penalosa
Feb 24 · 3 min read
Guilford County’s Open Data Portal is now live!
https://opendata.guilfordcountync.gov/

Local governments everywhere are looking for new ways to create modern data portals, allowing for deeper engagement and transparency with residents, researchers, and the general public. Stae is excited to have helped Guilford County, North Carolina develop and launch its new county-wide open data portal.

The new portal is a one-stop shop for data, providing seamless accessibility across cities and towns in Guilford County. The portal contains a mix of both historical data sets, like service calls and building permits, as well as real-time data sets such as traffic jams and incidents from Waze.

Launching officially on Tuesday, February 11th in Greensboro, NC, county officials brought together residents, members of the Code For Greensboro civic technology group, and researchers from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Hosted at the co-working space HQ Greensboro in downtown Greensboro, attendees tested and gave feedback on new features of the portal, which includes an interactive map and access to nearly two million data points, available for download, or via API.

911 calls related to animal services requests across Guilford County

Guilford County, which oversees all public data for its 500,000 residents, seeks to engage both everyday residents and more tech-savvy partners like university researchers with a new open data portal designed with both audiences in mind. Designing the portal for different types of community members is key to its success; as assistant budget director Jason Jones put it, open data should be “useful, usable, and used.”

Jason has previously employed “data storytelling” approaches to increase visibility on the County’s work; now that the open data portal is live, he is interested in how the County might help share stories of community members’ use of data as well.

“Government transparency is an important aspect of open data and we want to go even further by giving community leaders a chance to share what’s important to them and the impact of their work,” Jones said.

More than just releasing static data sets, the County is providing more dynamic data “feeds” available via a consistent API in order to deepen relations with university researchers and community civic technologists, and enable such partners to more readily integrate with county data systems. As Guilford County continues to add data, and as we at Stae work to add and improve the features of our Public Hub open data platform, we will continue to focus on user engagement and feedback, including through qualitative documentation of the data needs and success stories from the Guilford County community.

A heatmap of total 911 Calls grouped by time of day

In order to support all kinds of residents, Guilford County needed a user-friendly interface and tools that encourage visitors to the new website to explore and download data.

“Stae is thrilled to be supporting Guilford County in its launch of a new open data portal, and be providing modern tools to allow the county to improve transparency, collaboration, and decision making,” said Stephen Larrick, Head of Success at Stae and former Open Cities Director at the Sunlight Foundation.

Code for Greensboro hosted the open data portal launch event https://twitter.com/CodeForGSO/status/1227376317865308161

Find the County’s open data portal at https://opendata.guilfordcountync.gov/.

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