Our Open Data Portal now includes a new view type − Data Lens. These views do not present any new data. Rather, much like charts, they offer a way to summarize and explore existing datasets.

Data Lens pages are built around the concept of cards, with each card on the page showing a different way of summarizing the data in bar chart or map format or of filtering by a particular column. The real power of a Data Lens page is that the cards are linked so that filtering in one card filters all the others. For example, consider Food Inspections:

Food Inspections Data Lens

The cards above give a quick summary of food inspections, as a whole, but suppose one is most interested in inspections of Risk 1 establishments. Simply click that bar on the Risk card and all other cards update correspondingly.

Food Inspections Data Lens Limited to Risk 1 Establishments

But how about just the Risk 1 inspections with a Result of Pass? Click the Pass bar, as well.

Food Inspections Data Lens Limited to Risk 1 Establishments with a Result of Pass

So, how are those inspections distributed across Community Areas? One can sort of see but that card is pretty small. Click the double arrow in the corner of the Community Areas card …

Click the Double-Headed Arrow to Expand a Card

… and it expands to larger size.

Community Area Card Expanded to Larger Size

The best way to learn about Data Lens pages is to experiment with them, yourself. We have published some initial pages, including Crimes, Business Licenses, and Red Light Camera / Speed Camera Violations, and will continue to add more. As with other view types, Data Lens pages appear as a searchable category in the left pane of the Data Portal home page.

View Types Highlighting Data Lens

For up-to-date information on Data Lens pages, in general, please see Socrata’s Data Lens Support page. Socrata will add new features over time and we will implement those that seem useful for City of Chicago data. Both Socrata and the City of Chicago welcome feedback and suggestions. Each Data Lens page will have a feedback button in the lower right that sends comments to Socrata. As always, the best ways to reach us are @ChicagoCDO and dataportal@cityofchicago.org.

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