Today, the Sunlight Foundation released TransparencyData.com which compiles federal data from OpenSecrets and state data from FollowTheMoney.org into a comprehensive and user-friendly search interface for researchers and journalists. Transparency Data allows users to easily download spreadsheet data for state and federal campaign contributions, and will offer lobbying data from the Senate Office of Public Records within several weeks. In the future, the Sunlight Foundation plans to add more datasets, including Congressional biographies, earmark data and government contracting records. Users can select their data subset using a wide variety of filters, including: election cycle, for/against candidate, contributor, contributor industry, contributor state, date, employer, federal or state election, office, recipient, recipient state and transaction type. Transparency Data processes the selections into a data subset with an HTML preview of the results with the option to further restrict the query. Once the desired data is isolated, users can download a CSV file of the information. Receiving targeted information in spreadsheet form makes the data quickly usable for analysis.
For those wanting a larger amount of Transparency Data's information, bulk downloads allow users to download spreadsheets of combined state and federal data as well as state or federal data by election cycle. Also, an API is available for developers wanting to program the raw data themselves.
The Sunlight Foundation has also made other government records more searchable. See our previous blog entry about their search interface for House expenditures.