Saturday, January 8, 2011

Building Data Sets

I'm finding that a lot of the "boring stuff" that are building blocks of successful political simply aren't easily available.

There's nationwide stuff like who are all the people who hold elective office in the United States of America? How many are Republicans, Democrats, members of other parties? What are their terms in office? You would think that something like this would be easy and then you can take this and a lot of other information to suss out patterns of good government, corruption, ideological affinity, stuff that a data geek like me would find interesting.

Instead, I'm finding I can't even get a reliable listing of who the poll workers were in the last election.

It's incredibly frustrating and there really needs to be some sort of way to pull all this data out and get it available for easy access. At least I've got a decently fast computer at present. And I'm loading updated Pentaho tools so once I get a data set, it's going to be kept available for everybody.