What Truly Open Data Should Look Like
by Martha Kang - June 29, 2015 How many people died of heart disease last year? Is child obesity on the rise? What’s the biggest health threat Americans face? The answers to these questions can help save lives by driving improvements in care and prevention. And thanks to open data initiatives, the public has access to the numbers that hold the answers. But that’s not enough, says Ramon Martinez, a health metrics adviser with the Pan American Health Organization. “If we put the data set to the public, only a few people can benefit from that,” says Ramon. It’s like giving someone a printout of an EKG test. Unless that person has the know-how to decipher the meaning, the information proves useless. The same holds true for big health data, which requires analytics skills to comprehend. That’s why simply releasing the numbers doesn’t fully serve the public, says Ramon. “It’s important to share data sets. But together with data sets, try to provide visualization tools that allow users to explore the data, to answer questions,” he says. Ramon recently made the case for transforming open data at Health Datapalooza, an annual conference on health data innovations. To make open data initiatives truly meaningful, says Ramon, the insights within the data should be accessible to all, including those without analytics skills or access to data tools. “We need to put the data in a way that someone who participates in a decision can get the information,” he says. Ramon himself practices what he preaches. As he puts it, he “takes rows and columns of data and transforms them into something that has meaning.” His interactive dashboards visualize various health metrics like obesity trends, life expectancy, and the prevalence of diabetes as seen below. But don’t take our word for it. Explore Tableau business intelligence 9.0 features here. Or try it for free by downloading it here. OR Technologies is a Tableau Reseller in Malaysia. With over 10 years of experience in IT, it is one of the pioneers in business intelligence in the country. For inquiries about Tableau and how you can start using it in your company, call 03-50218364 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Get a free 14-day full version trial of Tableau by clicking here.