On Wednesday, the Cook County Department of Budget and Management Services released the Executive Recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2016. As with previous years the Budget is available as a series of PDFs.
As part of our work with Cook County Open Data we helped create and post three datasets as part of this year’s Executive Recommendation Budget release:
- Budget Summary By Object Classification: This dataset lists by department the Department Request and Executive Recommendation dollar amounts for each line item. (We helped publish this data last year too.)
- Budget Summary Of Positions By Business Unit: This dataset lists by department and business unit the proposed position counts and salaries.
- Capital Equipment: This dataset contains a list of capital equipment projects along with the requested dollar amount.
With these dataset releases we made several improvements over last year’s Executive Recommended Budget release:
- Timeliness: This year we wanted to try to release open data on the same day as the PDFs were released. Over the past several weeks we have been working with staff in the Department of Budget and Management Services to make that possible for these datasets.
- New Types of Datasets: Last year only the Budget Summary By Object Classification dataset was released. We wanted to identify additional data that is part of the budget process. In preparation for this year’s budget season we went through last year’s Budget Book PDFs to identify potential new datasets. From there, we worked with staff in the Department of Budget and Management Services to identify who is responsible for each type of data and to develop the final open dataset.
- Data Lens: We wanted to go beyond just providing the data tables so we took this as an opportunity to try out Socrata’s Data Lens view that was launched earlier this year. The Data Lens views have interactive graphs and search functionality. They act as an alternative view to the spreadsheet style of the main dataset. We have Data Lens views for all 3 datasets:
- Open Data in Context: While the Open Data Portal makes it easy to find these budget datasets if you are on the portal, we wanted to ensure that users going to the county’s website to learn about the proposed budget had easy access to the open data and Data Lens visualizations. To accomplish that, for the first time this year, links to the Data Lens views are included with the PDF links on the budget page.
Over the next several weeks there will be Departmental Reviews and Public Hearings on the Executive Recommendation Budget. See the Cook County Budget Calendar for the complete schedule including links to live streams and public hearing speaker registration.