What is IQuery?
IQuery is Illinois Query, a web-based data query system for collecting and displaying health data. IQuery is a project of the Illinois Health Data Dissemination Initiative (IHDDI), a coalition of seven agencies of the state of Illinois, funded in part by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The IHDDI and IQuery are administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Who are the expected users of IQuery?
The expected users of IQuery are state agency data stewards, staff from local health departments and community-based agencies including healthcare providers. Additionally, any member of the public can access IQuery online.
How is IQuery different from the IPLAN Data System?
IPLAN (the Illinois Project for the Local Assessment of Needs) refers to Illinois’ official certifications process for local health departments and the web data system that provides health information to that certification process. The IPLAN Data System is an online database containing 102 county-level health indicators used by local health department staff for assessment purposes as part of the local health department certification process. The IPLAN Data System indicators are individually culled from a number of different datasets across Illinois agencies.
Is personal /individual record data available through IQuery?
No personal or identifiable data is available through IQuery. Only aggregated (compiled from individual cases or events) data is available. If a data search returns a small number of cases that could potentially lead to personal identification, the number is not displayed and is represented by an asterisk (*) in the results.
How do I make requests for individual or disaggregated data for a particular indicator or a series of indicators?
The data descriptions include contract information for the data manager who is responsible for each indicator. Requests can be made by contacting the individual data managers through the contact information provided.
IQuery, on the other hand, intends to present more indicators from more datasets, and will eventually replace the IPLAN Data System. IQuery also includes a new data search function, tabular and graphical results, and a help and training resources for users.
Do I have to register or pay to access data?
No. Currently all data that is in the IQuery system is available publically and without registration.
IQuery is running slow. Is there something I did – or do I need a faster computer?
Like any application running on the web, there are many factors which influence its responsiveness. However, no processing actually takes place on your computer. If a query or report is taking more than 10-30 seconds to run, simply try your query again. If the problem persists, please report it on the Feedback page (through the link at the bottom of every page).
The Reports are arranged horizontally in my browser. How can I fix that?
The IQuery application is designed to work well with a variety of internet browsers. However, some older browsers do not correctly display all of the IQuery features. For example, older versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE7& and earlier) do not display the reports vertically. The most recent version of popular browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) should all display the IQuery application as intended.
Is there a tutorial or video available for IQuery?
The “Step-by-Step Visual Guide to IQuery” is a detailed introduction to IQuery, and includes screenshots and descriptions of IQuery pages and tools. There is also a recorded version of a one-hour training webinar from this year. These and other help materials are available at the Help link at the bottom of each page.
How can I learn about enhancements or updates to IQuery?
You may sign up for general updates on the Feedback page, and you will receive information about new datasets, health indicators, analysis tools, additional resources and updates.
DATASETS and HEALTH INDICATORS
What data sets are contained in IQuery?
IQuery launched in 2011 with data from the Illinois Department of Public Health: Vital Statistics, the Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Reporting System (APORS), and census information for Illinois. Numerous other data sets will be added as other agencies and departments include their data into the system.
What are age-adjusted rates?
The rates of almost all causes of disease, injury, and death vary by age. Age adjustment is a technique for "removing" the effects of age from crude rates so as to allow meaningful comparisons across populations with different underlying age structures. For example, comparing the crude rate of heart disease in Florida with that of Illinois is misleading, because the relatively older population in Florida leads to a higher crude death rate, even if the age-specific rates of heart disease in Florida and Illinois were the same. For such a comparison, age-adjusted rates are preferable.
What are crude rates and how are they calculated?
A rate is a measure of some event, disease, or condition in reference to a population. Crude rates are calculated by dividing the number of events or cases by the population.
Why do some health indicators have more description details than others?
IQuery presents data as collected and released by state agencies. The data collected, stored and displayed varies widely because of different laws and mandates for data collection, different collection methodologies, and different anticipated uses. Data descriptions are provided by the offices and mangers responsible for that data. Please contact those data managers for more information about the data itself.
How do I find the citation and/or contact information for IQuery data?
Each IQuery indicator is followed by a to access more details, also known as metadata. These details may include such information as descriptions, data sources, contact information, timeframe, etc. A shortened version of these details is presented alongside the tabular and graphic results.
How current is the data being displayed?
Datasets for a specific period are provided by individual Data Managers. Based on the timeliness of when the data is presented to them and they can in turn load into IQuery will determine how quickly it is available. As you select a Health Indicator in IQuery, the years for which data has been reported will be available for your selection.
Why are the data in IQuery two years old or older?
Public health data are collected, tested, analyzed and released following a complex process designed to ensure their accuracy, clarity and internal consistency. Data are released to the public only after required approvals have been obtained.
When will new data be available?
Datasets for a specific period are provided by individual Data Managers. Based on the timeliness of when the data is presented to them and they can in turn load into IQuery will determine how quickly it is available.
Can I be notified when new data has been published (or unpublished)?
The ability to be notified when a dataset has changed is an enhancement that the IQuery team recognizes as valuable and is considering. Until that functionality is included in IQuery, you may sign up for general updates on the Feedback page, and you will received information about all new datasets, indicators and updates.
Why are some data presented in three- or five-year ranges?
Multiple-year ranges ensure the privacy/confidentiality of the data by allowing reported instances of an indicator are not too small to publically report.
Why do the tabular and graphical results sometime omit crude or age-adjusted rates?
IQuery automatically calculates rates if the necessary data to do the calculations is present. Crude rates are possible if the number of cases and events is known relative to the population, but the cases must be known for a given population. For example, IQuery may include the number of "Deaths caused by Diabetes" for the city of Douglas, but without knowing the population of Douglas, the crude rate cannot be calculated.
Age-adjusted rates require additional data about how the event or conditions are distributed across the population by age. Without that age range information, age-adjusted rates cannot be calculated, and therefore not presented. Extending the example above, IQuery is programmed with the number of cases of different cancers from 1987 to 2007. However, IQuery currently has population age distributions for 2000 and forward, so age-adjusted rates cannot be calculated for the years before 2000.
When selecting a “Health Indicator,” why do I get different choices for "Geographic Area" (or "Time Period" or "Population Demographics”)?
This is a result of two design priorities within IQuery. In the first case, IQuery is designed to return results with as much detail as possible. For example, if "Death by Accident" is available for all counties in Illinois, then IQuery will present that. If other data is only available by a total for the whole state, then that is all that can be presented.
Secondly, IQuery is designed to reflect your choices as you move through the data query. Extending the example above, if you select a health indicator that is only available at the county level, then you will only get counties under Geographic Area. Furthermore, only counties that have relevant data for your search will be displayed under the Geographic Area tab get counties on your list that have results for your Health Indicator choice.
Why isn’t a particular county or region displayed in the Geographic Area selection?
IQuery has intelligent processing built in so that only Geographic Areas for which data is available for the selected Health Indicator will appear. If a particular county does not appear, it means that no reported cases exist in that county, the data is not currently available, or that type of data is not collected on a regional basis.
Why isn’t there an option to display data by a larger aggregation like region, or a smaller area like township?
Datasets are provided by individual Data Managers. In general, they publish the information in geographic areas that are available to them. However, if you have specific questions, please contact the appropriate Data Manager. At this point however, IQuery allows county as the lowest level of geographic classification.
Is data available at a more detailed level than by county?
No. At this point, IQuery displays county as the lowest level of geographic classification.
Why isn’t a particular year or year grouping displayed in the Time Period selection?
IQuery has intelligent processing built in so that only Time Periods for which data is available for the selected Health Indicator and Geographic Area will appear. If a particular Time Period does not appear, it either means that no reported cases exist during that Time Period, or the data is not currently available.
Why isn’t a particular race, ethnicity, gender or age group displayed in the Population Demographics selection?
IQuery has intelligent processing built in so that only Population Demographics for which data is available for the selected Health Indicator, Geographic Area, and Time Period will appear. If a particular race, ethnicity, gender or age group does not show as a selection, it means that data for that demographic does not exist or is not available.
ADDING NEW DATA to IQUERY
Could I include my data in the IQuery system?
IQuery is designed to present a wide variety of state agency data. Any State of Illinois Agency which wishes to have the ability to use the IQuery system should send an email to the Administrator listed on the Contact Us page.
I have sensitive data that I want to be presented in IQuery. Can I control access to who sees it?
No. At this point, all data that is in the IQuery system is available to anyone with an Internet connection.
Can you include another indicator?
The indicators which are available for querying from within IQuery are managed by the Data Manager who is responsible for the data for that indicator. If you are interested in the public display of additional health indicators, please use the Feedback page to make your request.