California Common Sense Tackles State Financial Data with Tableau Public

California’s first ever data transparency portal takes BI to the Capitol steps

Veröffentlichungsdatum: 12 Juli, 2011 - 14:30

SEATTLE – July 12, 2011 – California Common Sense and Tableau Software today launched California’s first ever data transparency portal. Powered by Tableau Public, the California Common Sense (CACS) data gateway will allow citizens to explore the depths of California State Government finances at unprecedented levels of detail, ease and speed.

Viewers can explore this data interactively and can even download it and create their own visualizations to share online. For example, a concerned citizen might write his state senator a stern email after drilling down into the depths of California’s Public Employee Pay and discovering that at least two dozen lifeguards are making between $70,000 and $100,000 per year. A journalist can start work on an in-depth investigation after she notices that, relative to other states, California seems to be overpaying certain judicial employees.

“Californians need to see and understand what their government is doing and CACS’ portal is a huge step toward solving that challenge. When CACS needed a fast, easy way to make the data useful and visual, they turned to Tableau,” said Ellie Fields, Director of Product Marketing at Tableau Software. “This is another example of the revolutionary power of interactive online data.”

The California Common Sense portal includes financial data not only for California, but also for most states around the country. This new high-tech visualization tool vastly improves government transparency throughout the nation and allows the public to see how California measures up against other states. The emergence of truly open data holds the promise of a revolution in government transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency.

The CACS data transparency portal includes six distinct Tableau visualizations that provide unprecedented public access to state government financial data. The portal includes online instructions for ease of use.
1. California’s detailed employee compensation data organized by general category, department, and job title.
2. General summary of California’s historical and projected expenditures and revenues by category.
3. California’s detailed expenditure data organized by general category, department, and expenditure type.
4. A detailed comparison of employee compensation for more than 30 states (all available data).
5. A detailed comparison of expenditures for 15+ states (all states for which data is currently public).
6. A general summary of California’s current expenditures showing what is being prioritized.

About California Common Sense (CACS)

California Common Sense is a Stanford-based nonprofit devoted to opening government financial data to the public, informing Californians about governmental inefficiencies, and promoting effective and efficient government policies. CACS’s government transparency projects and research harness new technology to reveal fragmented administration and overlapping state entities.

For more information on CACS, visit or email

About Tableau Software:

Tableau Software, based in Seattle WA, helps people see and understand their data by building software for fast analytics and data visualization. In use by over 50,000 people worldwide, Tableau’s award-winning products make business intelligence fast, easy and fun. Products include Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Digital and Tableau Public.

Tableau Public is a free product that lets anyone create interactive data visualizations and publish them to the web. Once on the web, anyone can interact with the data, download it, or create their own visualizations of it. No programming skills are required.