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Getting started with data.wa.gov

  1. Go to Data.wa.gov and look around https://data.wa.gov
    1. Check out the topics area in the lower left (https://data.wa.gov/#More%20Topics) -- this gives you an idea of the breadth of topic tags people have used to describe their data
    2. Check out a few of the Newest or Most popular datasets to see what kinds of things people are using this platform for.
  2. Create a user name and password on the site
    1. Go to https://data.wa.gov/signup and fill out the form
    2. You'll get a new form where you can enter the rest of your contact info.
    3. Please use your agency logo for the "image" on the account, and make sure to fill in your name and contact info so colleagues and administrators can reach you if you rn into problems.
  3. Let your agency IT and / or data stewards know you're signing up
    1. If your agency doesn't have data stewards or the IT group isn't set up to help with this service then just tell a couple of your colleagues
    2. If you don't know who might be interested in this stuff, try your agency public records officer, your Results Washington person, the agency Research group and/or the CIO.
    3. Send an email to the data.wa.gov administrator will.saunders@watech.wa.gov saying you'd like to publish some data
    4. You'll get a couple of automated messages within 24 hours confirming your account has become an "Editor"Log in and check for a new button on the "Hello [name]" page
  4. Check out a training video or two:
    1. Quick basic introduction to the open data portal  https://support.socrata.com/hc/en-us/articles/204198143-Learn-the-basics-of-the-Socrata-Open-Data-Portal
    2. How to import a dataset from .csv or Excel  https://support.socrata.com/hc/en-us/articles/202949928-How-to-import-a-new-dataset-from-a-CSV-or-XLS-file-
  5. Clean up and groom your dataset in Excel (or similar)
    1. Try to get the whole dataset into one tab
    2. Clean out all the decorative extra rows and columns that make an excel document look great, leaving just one set of column headings and no indents, asterisks, or merged cells.
    3. Save the cleaned up file someplace easy to find
    4. Get a colleague to review it - just to make sure you're not using any social security numbers or other category 3 or 4 data.
  6. Upload your first dataset
    1. Use the Create a new Dataset button on your data.wa.gov profile page and follow the wizard steps to find the file, upload and check it. Fair warning: it will take about 10 minutes to upload a file with thousands of rows.
    2. Fill in the metadata - including as much of the state metadata standard stuff as you can  /policies/metadata-standard
    3. Once it's uploaded, adjust the column names, widths, field names etc. to suit the data, and click "Publish"
    4. Check it again to make sure you're not publishing something private
    5. Set the "Permissions" for the dataset to "Public" in the brown "Manage" tab.
  7. Share it around
    1. You can copy the url from your browser and email it to colleagues
    2. You can make charts and maps with the "Visualize" button and email the URL's for those also
    3. You can "Embed" the table or the chart in your program's web page
    4. Talk with the Open Data Guy at WaTech if you have questions / raves / rants