Some of the data visualizations shown on this site are done using the free Google Fusion Tables technology. Your community group may find this method useful to store and analyze data that you want to share with the public. You can read about Google Fusion Tables on Wikipedia.
A Google Fusion Table uses data stored on Google Drive (drive.google.com), a cloud storage system. Google Drive lets you store and access your files anywhere — on the web, on your hard drive, or on the go. Currently, the first 15 GB of online storage are free. Once data are placed on Google Drive, you can control how visible they are. Data can be made public to anyone on the internet, or made available just to specific people who have Google accounts.
Google Drive is good for public data, but it is not a good choice for patient data. The Google Drive system is not designed with patient confidentiality in mind, so never put anything on Google Drive that is subject to patient disclosure laws.
Google Fusion Tables provide many ways to visualize data, including many of the most common types of charts, graphs, and statistical summaries. Data analysis is done though a web-based interface that is easy to learn. Once a visualization has been developed, it can be shared on the web or with specific people that you authorize. Visualizations can be embedded on web sites using methods that are similar to embedding YouTube videos. Users can click on links to see the underlying data tables that are driving the visualization, and can download the data if you permit it.
Here is an example of a live visualization done using Google Fusion Tables. While this chart appears directly on this web page, the data actually live on Google Drive. To see the underlying data, follow the links below the visualization.
Ohio: Summit County: Emergency Department Visits per 1000 Medicare Beneficiaries
This graph shows emergency department visits per 1000 Medicare Beneficiaries. Data are presented for Summit County (Akron). The data are based on all Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in the fee-for-service (FFS) program, have no months of HMO enrollment, and have both Part A and Part B for whatever portion of the year that they are covered by FFS Medicare. The data below are presented for Summit County, the Ohio state average, and the national average.
To download the data or view the graph in different sizes, visit the Google Fusion Table at Google Drive