State unveils new data tool to track unemployment claims, public salaries: How to use it

Credit: Christina Morillo/Pexels

Credit: Christina Morillo/Pexels

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced the launch of the DataOhio Portal, which he said is a first of its kind service to access information from state agencies.

“One of the things the pandemic has taught us a lot about is that having access to good information helps improve our decision making, and we want to do that across the board with state government,” Husted said Monday during Gov. Mike DeWine’s press briefing.

The DataOhio Portal was created in partnership with the Department of Administrative Services and the Office of Information Technology’s InnovateOhio Platform. It increases transparency by expanding access to key data.

“This public facing portal will provide more than 200 unique datasets and more than 100 interactive visualizations to help you put it into perspective to inform data driven decisions,” Husted said.

The first four state agencies to participate in the project were the Ohio Department of Health, Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, the Department of Youth Services and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. The collaboration allows data collaboration and sharing while maintaining security and privacy, the lieutenant governor said.

“Frankly, we’re just getting started,” Husted said. “We hope to have all agencies on here eventually and thousands of datasets that the media, researchers, academics, the public, General Assembly members, think tanks from the left and the right, everybody can take a look at it, challenge one another but ultimately the goal is to have good information so that we can make better decisions about the public policies that we are making in the state of Ohio. …

“We hope that this will be a central repository for all data and to give you access to data that you would never have access to before.” Husted said.

The DataOhio Portal illustrates the state’s commitment to being more customer-centric and data-driven, ultimately to better serve Ohioans, according to a release from the state.

Some business and advocacy groups have applauded the launch of the DataOhio Portal.

“The Buckeye Institute has long advocated for increased government transparency and was a leader in urging the state to make public spending information accessible to all Ohioans. Now, through DataOhio, the state has taken another step to make all data available online, and has given Ohioans a powerful tool to leverage data in new and exciting ways,” Greg Lawson, research fellow of The Buckeye Institute stated in a release.

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