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Relaunching the Big Cities Health Inventory Data Platform 

Screenshot of Big Cities Health Inventory Data Dashboard

November 1, 2021

Data are essential to the practice of public health. Through a dynamic partnership with the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) has updated and redesigned the coalition’s data resource, called the Big Cities Health Inventory (BCHI). BCHC is a forum for the leaders of America's largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of their residents. Collectively, BCHC member jurisdictions directly impact nearly 62 million people, or one in five Americans.

The BCHI provides a baseline of health in urban communities, as well as evidence of policies and practices at work in the member jurisdictions. The data platform allows for comparability of data metrics on health and social determinants of health. These data can be used to help identify and share best practices across city health departments as well as help cities outside of BCHC members benchmark their cities’ data.

Here are features in the revamped data dashboard.

More Metrics on Topics of Public Health Importance
The redesigned and updated data platform contains over 60,000 data points across more than 100 health, socio-economic, built environment and demographic metrics. The topics covered by the data in the platform are broad and include: life expectancy and deaths, access to health services, chronic health diseases, infectious diseases, maternal and child health, mental health and substance use, poisoning, violence and injury, social and economic factors, physical and built environment, and population demographics.

City-Level Data is Key
Many data portals provide national, state-level or county-level data, whereas the BCHI primarily reports city-level metrics. With increasing urbanization, it is vital that health departments and policy makers are able to assess the needs and issues that their residents face. City-level data are needed in order to document city-level health inequities and inform health policies and priorities. This resource can be used at all levels of government, by city-stakeholders, or simply to explore the data visualizations.

Enhanced Visualization of Trends Over Time
Effective public health practice and policymaking depends on having reliable and timely health information. The Drexel Urban Health Collaborative team has updated the data platform to reflect data from 2010-2019 thus enabling visualization of data trends over time.

Easy to Use, Download and Share
This data can be used in a variety of settings. It features downloadable and shareable charts and data points. Additionally, the entire dataset is available for download as a csv file. This data can be analyzed to inform public health programs, used for dissertation or thesis research, or for grant applications, among other things.

To learn more about the new and enhanced Big Cities Health Inventory Data Platform, visit the site at