Frequently Asked Questions

What is Open Data?
Open Data is the free access, usage, and sharing of data. Dumfries’ open data portal contains data sets owned and managed by the town and other organizations, such as Virginia agencies and the Census Bureau. Open Data seeks to spark innovation, encourage community collaboration, improve transparency, and assist with data-informed decision-making.

Can anyone view Dumfries's open data?
Yes! Anyone can access and view every data set made public by the Town of Dumfries. Hit Browse on the top-right, then use the filters on the left navigation pane to narrow your search by authority, category, data type, date posted, tags, and federated domains. You can also see other data in the commonwealth by visiting the Virginia Open Data Portal.

Do I need an account to view data on the Open Data Portal?
No, you do not need an account to view data. Anyone can access and download every dataset made public by the Town of Dumfries. However, you will need to create an account if you want to create data visualizations and filter data. Creating an account is simple: Sign up here!

What are data stories?
Data stories are a way to simplify and explain the data found in the open data portal. Data stories are created using words, photographs, and data visualizations such as charts and maps.

What are datasets?
Datasets (or data sets) are collections of data. Data is a collection of facts that are used to promote data-driven decision-making.

What are data measures?
Data measures are quantitative calculations (sum, average, minimum, maximum).

Could I suggest a new dataset?
Yes! If you haven’t found what you’re looking for or would like to suggest a new dataset, click ‘Suggest a Data Set’ at the bottom of the Open Data homepage.

How do I know when a dataset was last updated?
After selecting a dataset, look for the word 'Updated', under the blue 'View Data' button on the right side of the page, across from the description of the dataset. 

I believe I found an error in a dataset. Where should I report this?
Data quality is our top priority. If you believe you have found an error, please get in touch with us.

What fun things can I do using datasets?
Click on a dataset that interests you. Then, select the blue 'View Data' button on the right side of the page, across from the description of the dataset. This button will take you to a table view of the data, like an excel spreadsheet. From here, you can filter the data to narrow your search. You can also select the 'Visualize' button to create your data visualizations, including bar graphs, pie charts, maps, and more.
Creating an account is simple: Sign up here!