This is the introduction to the capstone project for the course, which leverages the recently completed exercise from Module 2 (the data manipulation project from the GBD 2010 data source). Just like your work in Module 2, your next task is to take a set of raw data and “convert” it into information by adding meaning to the data. This time you will choose your own data source and create the data manipulation necessary to transform your source from being raw data into meaningful information. Doing so will require an added layer of creativity as you choose the data source, the vehicle to give it meaning, and the format by which to present it.

The goal is to develop your skills as a new community health informatician, while further ingraining in you the foundational principles driving health informatics. The “training wheels” from Module 2 are now gone (i.e., the data-source and conversion-to-information tools are up to you this time). You should develop your project in a manner similar to what you did in the previous exercise. Be sure to include how data differs from information and demonstrate that difference in how you present your project.

The project is being introduced early to give adequate time to research possible data sources and select one that suits your interests. The dataset should be community health related and congruent with the overall theme of the course. It is recommended that you complete the assigned readings for Module 9 under the Learning Activities (Chapters 22-24) as early as possible, as there are many potential data sources included in those chapters. You will submit your selection to the instructor for approval by the end of Module 4. You may contact the instructor as needed for clarification or guidance at any point before then. (Hint: Earlier is better as waiting for help until right before the instructor approval due date may not leave you adequate time to find your data source.) Your final presentation of the project is due at the beginning of Module 9, at which point you will share it with classmates as part of that week’s discussion.


1. Use information technology to access, evaluate, interpret, and communicate public health information.
5. Collect, assess, analyze, and construct definitions, data sources, principles, and limitations related to the epidemiology of public health.

Learning Objective:

1. Construct a meaningful data visualization based upon a data source.


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