Harnessing the Power of Public Data to Help Local Communities Thrive in San Diego County


Customer Case Study
 San Diego County, CA
Population: 3.3 million (2015 census)

Live Well San Diego is a regional vision adopted by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors that aligns the efforts of county government, community partners and individuals to help all San Diego County residents be healthy, safe and thriving. The vision includes three components. Building Better Health focuses on improving the health of residents and supporting healthy choices; Living Safely focuses on protecting residents from crime and abuse, making neighborhoods safe, and supporting resilient communities; and Thriving focuses on cultivating opportunities for all people to grow, connect and enjoy the highest quality of life. The county’s Health & Human Services Agency began using LiveStories last year to great effect in exploring the data behind the Live Well San Diego vision.

Building Better Health: the 3-4-50 model. Chronic diseases—cancer, diabetes, heart disease and strokes, and lung disease—account for more than half of the deaths in San Diego County. One of Live Well San Diego’s stories explores the data behind these afflictions.

By tracking local variations in behaviors that put people at risk for chronic disease, the vision helps communities raise awareness and prioritize resources. The story also contains helpful information for local residents who may be personally at risk from chronic disease.


Civic engagement. Voting and volunteering are vital to improving the well-being of communities. Live Well San Diego compared rates of these activities—and for voting, rates for different elections—among regions in San Diego County, as well as California and the United States as a whole.

“In a democracy, all segments of the community - businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and individual residents - can and should be involved in civic engagement activities.”
—Live Well San Diego

Live Well San Diego’s story contains interactive charts that readers can filter to show regions relevant to them. It also contains explanations and links to information about voting rights, volunteer opportunities as poll workers, and voting best practices.

Data stories like those crafted by the Live Well San Diego Support team are only effective if they’re used to inform local policy-making and raise awareness in communities of pressing issues. By emphasizing a partnership-driven approach with organizations county-wide, San Diego’s Health & Human Services Agency is well poised to turn its data into action. LiveStories looks forward to supporting its work crafting compelling fact sheets with granular data, and engaging the broad array of governments, corporations, and nonprofits that comprise San Diego County, the nation’s fifth most populous.