March 2018,  OneVoice CSDA Newsletter

CA Health & Human Services Open Data Portal: Knowing your Customers

By: Camille Valverde, Statistical Analyst with San Bernardino County DCSS

In our ongoing quest for additional data to increase our ability to analyze the population we serve, many LCSAs are on a constant hunt for free government datasets (aka “open portals”) that may serve as a launching pad for data that will help us better serve our current customers and help us connect with new parents who can benefit from our services. Today, many states are opting to provide Open Data Portals for transparency and to increase public awareness.

Various social services are provided by each division of Human Services; therefore, the California Health & Human Services Agency (CHHS) found it necessary to create a one-stop Open Data Portal. The Open Data Portal allows users to conveniently explore county data, demographics and population statistics, as well as graphs pertaining to the departments and programs under the direct supervision of CHHS. While California retains ownership of the data and maintains responsibility for all figures published, the Open Data Portal contributes to department transparency by opening non-confidential Human Services data to the public and researchers.

CHHS touts “Its goals are to spark innovation, promote research and economic opportunities, engage public participation in government, increase transparency, and inform decision-making.”

The following departments and programs are under the direct supervision of the California Health and Human Services Agency and have available data on the CHHS Open Data portal:

Each of the aforementioned agencies provide recent and accurate accounting of customers served, costs, locations, and additional pertinent data on the Open Data Portal website, available in Excel, PDF, and CSV files. With no required log-in, the data can be easily searched, filtered, and exported for further use by the LCSA.

How CHHS Data can be Incorporated into Child Support

All data relate back to health, technology, social and personal welfare, land development, and every aspect of how we function and grow as a society. This supplemental data is crucial in helping Child Support identify outreach opportunities, customers receiving other supportive services, and comparing the child support population to those of other programs.

As an organization, we can use the ancillary data to help meet program objectives in addressing customer barriers. While child support services remain our primary service to children in our respective LCSAs, understanding our population and sharing information with our customers about other available services is part of a holistic approach to case management and our effort to make a positive difference in the lives of children.

California Health and Human Services Open Data portal can be accessed at:
https://data.chhs.ca.gov/