We’re pleased to have published the Allegheny County Property Assessment Data User Guide. This guide is a collaboration between the Regional Data Center and staff at Allegheny County’s Office of Property Assessments.
As a data user who has often been frustrated with the lack of data documentation, I would often have conversations with the data stewards at various public agencies whenever I needed to learn more about the data they were giving me, and I wasn’t alone. I learned that these same people were having the same conversation with lots of other users about the exact same data. Nobody seemed to be recording and sharing any of this expertise. Few of the users themselves shared what they learned about the data back with the data contacts or with other users.
Here at the Regional Data Center, we’re working to make it easier to use data through enhanced documentation. The Assessment Data User Guide is the first product in a shared data documentation library. We’d like to produce documentation for some of the most-used and also the most-complex datasets on the data portal. These guides are designed to give data users a sense of the purpose for which the data was collected, the business processes, software, and applicable standards involved, suggested applications for the data (and how to use it), and other details that will help others make responsible use of the data.
It’s our hope that data users will also contribute to this knowledge base. Please let us know what you think. We’re just getting started.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spinal_Tap_-_Up_to_Eleven.jpg