June 11, 2014 •
15,245 Questions Answered!
In the monthly State and Federal Communications staff meetings, each department provides an update of what’s new so the entire staff can get a picture of what each department is up to. One of the things the Research Department likes to share with the staff is statistics that provide some insight as to the volume of information we track and update.
The information on our website is contained in a database, which contains 223 individual questions that need to be addressed in each of the more than 300 jurisdictions available on our website. In round numbers, this means there are roughly 70,000 individual “chunks” of data in our database, which may be as short as one word or as long as the approximately 3,900 words it takes to explain California’s complex campaign finance reporting system. One interesting statistic we like to share in each meeting is the number of these individual questions “touched” since the last staff meeting, as a rough measure of how many pieces of information were updated on the website. Between our April 21and May 29 staff meetings, the Research Department updated 15,245 questions in our database, either as part of the normal review process or as part of updates made to the website due to changed information, such as the passage of a new bill or a new phone number for a contact. Mind you, not every question processed through the system gets changed, as it is sometimes necessary to look at a question just to verify the information, but this statistic gives a good idea of the volume of information being looked at during the period in question.
Another interesting statistic involves the number of what we call “supplemental documents,” that is, the documents you can find in under the “Statutes, Regulations, Forms…” link on our website. These are the statutes, opinions, guides, and forms we keep on our website as both a quick reference and a ready source of forms to assist with registration and reporting. As of our May 29 meeting, we had 5,814 such documents available on our website. In the 12 months preceding the meeting, 2,022 of those documents had been updated.
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