But sometimes, there's nothing quite like being able to manipulate the data by yourself by viewing charts and graphs or downloading the information into an excel spreadsheet. The County has engaged OpenGov.com to assist with providing the public with just that opportunity. Users can view financial data based on the current budget or up to the current month. The users can manipulate the data and drill down to finite details or scale up to the big picture. Users can also download the data as an excel spreadsheet.
Click on the graphic to the right to explore Cass County's Financial Data Portal. The link will open a new window and take you to the OpenGov website.
Tips on How to Use the Site
Here are some general tips on how to use the Financial Data Portal...
- The Portal allows you to explore budget and historical finances in a simple graphical user interface. The main view (shown to the right) includes a chart or graph, a legend and various controls to view expenses by departments out of various funds.
- You will notice the title of the chart or graph you are viewing on top along with the account type selector. You can use the filter to see the data that is of most interest to you.
- To focus on specific data - like a fund, department, expense type, or any combination - look to the left and use the menu on the side panel. These selectors allow you to specify exactly what breakdown you want the graph or table to represent. When you select "Filtered By" the data filter pops up and allows you to turn on or turn off selected filters for that category - funds, departments, expense type.
- Keep in mind that some departments or expenses only receive funds from specific funds - if the department or expense is not funded from a particular fund, it will be grayed out.
- There are five different types of visual representations of the data - an area graph, an area graph by percentage, a line graph, a pie graph and a table. You can change your view by type at any point by simply selecting the different type of representation. The data will automatically convert. These functions are on the top right.
- You can also download the data into a .csv spreadsheet and .png image.
- You can share the data (any view of the data) on a social network or by email.
Here are some Cass County-specific tips...
- Cass County has five operational funds that cover most county operations. Those funds are the General, Human Service, County Road and Bridge, Weed Control, and Vector Control funds. These are the funds that pay most of the employee, operational, and supply costs. In the reporting tool on OpenGov we have grouped these for the ease of the user in generating information on these independent funds as a whole.
- Cass County has numerous special revenue funds, including those listed above. Those funds are normally for a specific purpose and have a dedicated revenue source.
- Some expenditures or revenues do not track year to year. For example, in the County Auditor's Office, elections are held normally in even numbered years. There may be expenses for elections in odd numbered years but they are considerably less that those expenses in even numbered years.
- A "Proprietary Fund" is almost always going to be an Internal Service Fund. This is basically a fund that the County uses internally to pay for specific items - for example health insurance, dental insurance, and motor pool. The Internal Service fund "charges" the other funds for providing specific services, such as health insurance premiums are paid by a department to the Health Insurance Fund and that fund pays for the actual health related costs.
The data is solely for Cass County and does not include financial data from any outside entities such as cities, townships,school districts, fire districts, water resource districts, or airport authorities.