Failed CDC data pipeline

published 04.06.2020 12:25

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On the data front, where it was so important in the beginnings to gauge what was about to happen, the CDC failed to get accurate data to the people who needed to make decisions quickly: The C.D.C. could not produce accurate counts of how many people were being tested, compile complete demographic information on confirmed cases or even keep timely tallies of deaths.

In 2014, I wrote a guide on how to make government data sites better.

I used the CDC data offerings as my running example.

I criticized how hard it was to get data in a usable format, how the extraction tools were a chore to use, the lack of context to go with the data, and the challenge of just finding the data on a sprawling website.

It’s a lot easier to point out what you can do to improve government data sharing than it is to actually do it of course.