IPPSR Develops List of Policy-Related data.michigan.gov Datasets

Written by: Renee O'Connell

Primary Source:  Michigan Policy Wonk Blog, June 20, 2016

Want to learn about environmental contamination, Michigan school locations, or concealed weapons permits? The State of Michigan makes many datasets publicly available for public use. Using data.michigan.gov (link is external), IPPSR has created a list of datasheets potentially useful for policy research and analysis. All datasets have an API making it easy for anyone to access and use this data.

Start exploring now in our downloadable spreadsheet.

A particularly interesting dataset featured in IPPSR’s spreadsheet is the Concealed Pistol License County Summary (link is external). This dataset describes the number of approved, revoked, pending, expired, and suspended concealed pistol licenses per county in Michigan.  This dataset could help those conducting gun control research. A potential question that this dataset could help answer: “Is there a relationship exist between a county’s voting patterns and number of concealed carry licenses?”

The State also provides a spreadsheet of environmental contamination sites (link is external) in Michigan.  The DEQ publishes this information in compliance with the 2010 Part 201 amendments to the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Act.  This dataset could be used to answer other questions like “what is the relationship between population density and contamination sites?” or “do less affluent areas have more pollution sites?”

This IPPSR spreadsheet includes each dataset’s name, a short description of what’s in the dataset, the hyperlink, and a sample policy question that could be addressed with the dataset.   The State of Michigan has updated these datasheets anywhere between the fall of 2014 and spring of 2016. It is organized into four categories: education, environment, government operations, and health and wellness.

The education category features a Map of Michigan School Locations (link is external).  This map marks each public school in Michigan on a map of the state, and this map is one of many geographic datasets, or spatially organized data.  This Map of Michigan School Locations dataset can be a useful tool for developing education policy research questions or providing visuals for presentations.

The environment category datasets relate to Michigan’s parks and wildlife.  For those conducting research on access to water and water rights, the Michigan Inland Water Bodies Region (link is external) map may be of use.

The government operations category covers a wide range of topics, including City Income Tax (link is external), Tribal Governments of Michigan (link is external), and a datasheet of Veteran Population (link is external) by county.

One dataset in the health and wellness category is Car Accidents (link is external).  Dataset categories include speed limit at site of crash, whether or not a deer was involved in the crash, and if the driver had been drinking.  This dataset could be used to answer a number of policy questions such as whether or not it is safe to raise speed limits.

IPPSR has created this spreadsheet in an effort to increase awareness of available data from the State of Michigan and provide researchers with useful statistics.

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Renee O'Connell
Renee O’Connell is an undergraduate public policy and environmental biology double major. She has worked for the US Forest Service in their Washington Office and Michigan Forest Products Council in Lansing. At IPPSR, she will be writing on environmental policy and resource management.