My Open Data Christmas Wishlist

Dear Santa,

The Education and Healthcare data sets that I’d like to see exposed in a standard, machine readable format include the following:

  1. K-12 student satisfaction surveys
  2. Emergency room wait times

Student Satisfaction Surveys

As a parent of two boys, I’m interested in know what the student satisfaction survey results are for the schools in my area. Student satisfaction is a good indication of engagement, and engagement is a good indicator of learning. Having worked for the Ministry of Education in the past and seeing the rolled up results of student satisfaction for the Province of British Columbia, I know that data is interesting. I saw, for example, how students on the whole are very engaged from kindergarten to grade 5 or 6 (about 4.5 out of 5). In grade 7 the engagement declines and it bottoms out around grade 10. (Its been a while since I’ve seen this data, but this is my best recollection and it coincides with my own educational experience).

What I envision is the student satisfaction survey mashed up with mapping data so that I have an app that shows the schools in my neighborhood with the student satisfaction for each grade. An even better indication of the school performance would be provided if data from the Fraser Institute’s report card on elementary schools (based on Grade 4 and Grade 7 Foundation Skills Assessment results) is included.

Santa school

Santas at School

Emergency Room Wait Times

The other idea also stems from being a parent. Imagine the unwanted scenario where your your child has somehow hurt themselves playing in the yard. You look at them and realize that you need to take them to emergency. You pull out your smart phone and go to the ER Wait Time app. This app shows all of the hospitals in your area with driving times (maybe even considering traffic data). The app will also show you the wait times. Hospital A has a wait time of 6 hours. Hospital B, although it is 20 minutes further to drive there, has 3 emergency physicians and a wait time of only 20 minutes. I know which one I want to go to. The app can also provide you with a report card on hospital procedures, medical conditions, and medical conditions related to childbirth. The app would be customizable to allow people to evaluate hospitals on quality measures important to them. It may also include patient ratings of hospital performance.

Thanks Santa! Keep up the good work. Every year, we are getting more and more data sets. We sure appreciate all the great work you and your elves do exposing data, stimulating the digital economy and helping government be more transparent and to provide better services outcomes.

Merry Christmas!

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