The Environmental Health world, like other government domains, is fertile ground for aspirational data projects. Local Health Departments consistently capture records of applications, permits/licenses, inspections, violations, complaints and the time spent providing services. Financial accounting is also key to doing business.
In some ways, our collected data is like a dashboard camera, constantly recording video out the windshield of an Uber car. In most cases, the video is never retrieved and studied…until there’s an accident (or a UFO sighting), in which case, it’s gold! The difference is that dashboard cams are cheap. Data collection is extremely expensive, yet expected without question.
The “Dashboard Cam Effect” can be evident when we hear things like the following:
“Our data is collected, but never used again.”
The dashboard camera is always on, but the video is never viewed.
“Our million-dollar system is great at taking in data, but I can never get the r......