Dig into Data and Revel in Resources

In our March 22 blog, which was designed to get you ready for Challenge Weekend, we advised you to dig into the data and get strategic with the tech resources we’ve provided. Of course, we dig data, we dig digging into data, and we love tech everything, so we thought we’d elaborate a bit more on the whole concept.


The Go Code Colorado data team makes the operations of government their business so that it’s easier for you to find and use public data. They find it and work with agencies to publish it in machine-readable format, and then Go Code competitors turn that public data into useful business insights and tools. The data team has been hard at work in 2018, and they’d like to share a few results!

The data section of our website features recently published datasets for 2018 and datasets published in years past that are kept current. These include a wealth of census data from the State Demography Office at the Department of Local Affairs, as well as datasets across a wide spectrum of subjects from notaries public, to crime, highway sign posts, septic systems in Boulder County and restaurant inspections in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties.

This is the first year the data team has worked directly with data from local jurisdictions, which expands the scope of ideas that competitors can engage with. For example, the aforementioned restaurant inspections and septic systems datasets are at the county level, which allows competitors to produce a minimum viable product using localized, granular data. Additionally, Douglas County has federated their open data portals to the Colorado Information Marketplace (CIM) further increasing the wealth of data available.

When browsing datasets on CIM, be sure to view the additional metadata, in particular, the “long description.” This year, many datasets—including business and charity datasets—contain information on how to join disparate datasets. This expands exploration possibilities for deeper analysis.

The Colorado Department of State recently published a video for Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) datasets to help competitors better understand the data. Also the CIM Status Blog has some great posts, such as Understanding Business Entities.

But that is by no means all there is to offer. Access CIM and search on the key word “gocodecolorado” and you’ll find even more public datasets than those featured on our website—remember to search the three types “datasets”, “maps” and/or “external datasets” when browsing CIM. On our website, we also put together additional data resources outside of CIM that you might be interested in using to build your competition entry.

There’s plenty of data to dig into and explore, so don’t be shy. And, if you have questions or need a bit of help, there are a few ways to reach the data team.

Before Challenge Weekend:
Email: data@gocodecolorado.gov
#Slack: When you register for Challenge Weekend, you’ll get access. Use the #data channel for your data questions.

During Challenge Weekend, at least one member of the data team will be on site at each of the five locations: Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, Fort Collins, and Grand Junction. #Slack will work great during Challenge Weekend too.

Tech Resources

The Go Code data team has also put together a bunch of tech resources for your use. In our March 22 blog, we covered the project management tools from Waffle, and GitHub, where you’ll be required to create the repository for your project.

Additionally, the GitHub Go Code Colorado organization provides access to several resources:

  • Public Go Code competition repositories, from 2017 and earlier, are available for you to peruse. Take a look and see what you can learn from the work of previous competitors.
  • Go Code #Slack bot in the #welcome-and-setup channel that helps teams get started with Waffle.
  • Go Code Colorado kbase 2018, provides helpful resources for teams, including metadata documentation, diagrams, instructions, data stories and more.

And, finally, here are the highlights of additional tech resources on our website. To get more detail, including how to access and use these tools, visit the tech resources page.

  • Better Business Bureau
    • An API to access BBB information.
    • The API has location information for individual locations (all locations for companies with multiple locations in a city and state) along with a “primary category.”
  • Carto
    • Plug in any dataset using an API to create a quick and easy visualization to help you see and explore data—spatial patterns, trends, clusters, densities and more.
    • Carto can manage a myriad of data files and types and has an extensive library of regularly updated government and social datasets.
  • Name.com
    • Easy and free domain name registration (up to 3 domains).
    • Easy and free website hosting.
    • Three months free hosting.
  • Socrata
    • Access to the the Socrata Open Data API (SODA)
    • Access to the Socrata GitHub Site.
    • Technical support onsite at Challenge Weekend in Denver (also available via #Slack or phone for other locations—reach out to the on-site Go Code staff for assistance).
  • Twitter
    • Public API.
    • Twitter Analytics.

Happy digging and reveling—we’ll see you soon at Challenge Weekend!

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