Grand Rapids, MI Website Analytics

Structured data about web traffic to the city government website. Web analytics are one of the most useful datasets for understanding direct interaction between local governments and residents. Data collected using programs such as Google Analytics, KISSMetrics, or other similar programs can allow cities to make better decisions about web-development priorities based on constituent needs. In the hands of civic technologists, web analytics can also be used to advocate for better accessibility for all residents and to demonstrate challenges that both the city and the civic-hacking community should address. As an example, Code for America created a real-time analytics viewer (in alpha) based on GDS’s analytics dashboard. While it requires access to real-time data, which many cities do not yet release, it provides powerful information about actual usage for city staff who publish on the web. Ideally, information published would include data such as site visits, page views, unique visitors, average site visit duration / average time on page, bounce rate, and search terms. (More info)

Submission date
8:45pm on 30th Sep 2020
Ethan Boelkins

Section A - About you

This section is not scored, but could provide valuable insights.

A1. Rate your knowledge of Website Analytics.

A2. Rate your knowledge of open data.

Section B - About the data


Answer “Yes” if the data are collected by government, or a third party officially representing government. This may be the case for state-owned-enterprises or contractors delivering public services for government.

B1. Is the data collected by the government (or an official third party on behalf of the government)?

Current entry


Please also submit evidence that data is collected, managed or mandated by government (e.g. by submitting the URL to a disclaimer of government endorsement).

B1.1. Please provide the name of the government agency or organisation that collects the data.


Please tell us why the data are not collected by your government. For instance, sometimes governments do not collect data because they have no measurement mechanisms put in place or the service is run by a private company not connected to the government.

B1.2. Please provide the reason that the data is not collected by the government.

Current entry


Answer “Yes”, if the data are made available by the government on a public website. Answer “No” if the data are NOT available online or are available online only after registering, requesting the data from a civil servant via email, completing a contact form or another similar administrative process.

B2. Is the data available online without the need to register or request access to the data?

B2.1. Is the data available online after requesting access or registering?


How to describe the data source: If you find data on a financial department website, please fill in: “Website of National Department of Finances”. If you found it in an API of the same department, fill in: "API of National Department of Finances".

B2.2. Where did you find the data?

B2.3. How much do you agree with the following statement: “It was easy for me to find the data.”?


Example: I googled for the data and found the data in the first search result; I did in-depth search on single websites; etc.

B2.4. Tell us the steps you took to find the data.


If you cannot find all data characteristics online, continue answering all further questions referring to the characteristics you found.

B3. Please confirm that the following characteristics are present in the data published online by the government:

B4. Is the data available free of charge?


Answer “Yes”, if you can download all data at once from the URL at which you found them. In case that downloadable data files are very large, their downloads may also be organised by month or year or broken down into sub­files. Answer “No” if if you have to do many manual steps to download the data, or if you can only retrieve very few parts of a large dataset at a time (for instance through a search interface).

B5. Is the dataset downloadable at once?


Please base your answer on the date at which you answer this question. Answer “No” if you cannot determine a date, or if the data are outdated.

B6. Data should be updated every day: Is the data up-to-date?


This question measures if anyone is legally allowed to use, modify and redistribute data for any purpose. Only then data is considered truly "open" (see Open Definition). Answer “Yes” if the data are openly licensed. The Open Definition provides a list of conformant licenses. Answer also “Yes” if there is no open license, but a statement that the dataset is in “public domain.” To count as public domain the dataset must not be protected by copyright, patents or similar restrictions, and there can be no restrictions on commercial use. If you are not sure whether an open license or public domain disclaimer is compliant with the Open Definition 2.1, seek feedback on the Open Data Index discussion forum.

B7. Is the data openly licensed/in public domain? It *must* meet the Open Definition: “Open data and content can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose.” (See more at


Public domain statements can be disclaimers, terms of use or similar texts.

B7.1. Please submit a URL to the open license or to a statement that the data is in public domain.


Tell us the file formats of the data. We automatically compare them against a list of file formats that are considered machine-readable and open. A file format is called machine-readable if your computer can process, access, and modify single elements in a data file. The Index considers formats to be “open” if they can be fully processed with at least one free and open-source software tool. The source code of these format does not have to be open. Potentially these formats allow more people to use the data, because people do not need to buy specific software to open it.

B8. Which of the following formats is the data in? If none (for example, if it’s a PDF), please make a note in the comments and move on to the next question.


Data may be in a machine-readable format like an .xls spreadsheet. But they might contain unstructured information (like notes randomly written in a column). Such data often has to be cleaned to become usable. Tell us the effort it takes for you to use the data. Base your assessment on whether the data are fit for your use cases.

B9. Please provide an assessment of how easily the data are usable without human effort. Select 1 if extensive effort is required to make data usable, select 2 if some effort is required and select 3 if little to no effort is required.