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Help CDC Visualize Vital Statistics

Make a Difference in the Way CDC Visualizes Birth and Death Data

Effective visualizations take time and benefit from the input of a diverse set of stakeholders.  This year, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics is creating a social media campaign to explore complex health statistical issues through data visualization.  The campaign, called #vitalstatsviz, encourages civic-minded individuals to create visualizations of CDC birth and death data (also called Vital Statistics).   This campaign kicks off on January 14, 2015 and will continue for six months.

We need your help! We’re calling on data scientists, designers, developers, students, and all others who are interested to participate in #vitalstatsviz.  To amplify the campaign’s effectiveness, we’re encouraging participants to collaborate, share code, and make their visualizations public so that everyone involved can better leverage new tools and techniques. Using blogs, Github, and social media, participants can share data visualizations of CDC birth and death data. Participants can either showcase their own visualizations, or can highlight visualizations that have already been posted. The goal is to create and share high-quality visualizations that are effective and easy to understand.

How Do I Get Started?

First, to create a data visualization, you can access CDC’s Vital Statistics Data to download the data files and get started. Then, choose your favorite platform for creating and sharing content. Create a post that features a CDC Vital Statistics data visualization and use the hashtag #vitalstatsviz. Anyone searching for this term will be able to find the visualizations that are created as well as others who are involved in the movement. Help spread the word by inviting others to create with you, and feel free to showcase previous work you have done.

What if I Don’t Know How to Code?

All are welcome to participate.  One purpose of #vitalstatsviz is to showcase visualizations that make birth and mortality data more understandable and accessible.  Non-coders can participate in a variety of ways: create a curated webpage that showcases the visualizations you find effective; join a team; use software that doesn’t require coding; post questions that you’d like to be able to answer using vital statistics for other teams to work on; etc.

It’s NOT a Competition?

That’s correct. In the spirit of social media, select content will be tweeted by @NCHStats. A follow-up blog will be posted after 6 months.

Where Can I Find Out More?

For questions about #vitalstatsviz, please comment below.