I would like to get input on what type of challenge I could propose with a dataset: https://data.cms.gov/Medicare/Inpatient-Prospective-Payment-System-IPPS-Provider/97k6-zzx3

would it be appropriate to 1) ask how others have already used it or 2) ask for suggestions on what to do with it now?

3 Answers 3


There has been intensive discussion on the topic of open-ended questions on Open Data SE (e.g. At what point is a question too vague for this site? or We built this site, now what?). Since your question would mention a specific dataset, it should be concrete enough in order not to create endless discussion. I say: Go for it, ask the question, and see what happens. Worst case: You can always delete it afterwards :)


Your question is about the use of Open Data -- i.e. is it appropriate to ask for examples of similar uses or ask an open ended question about the utility of the data set. These would seem to valid questions for the main site, as long as you are specifying the specific data set.


"How to use" seems to have two different meanings.

If I hadn't read the full text, I would have interpreted this question as something along the lines of "I'm trying to use this data, but having problems with it".

Your question seems to be "What possible uses are there for this data?".

The first question (difficulty in using data), I'd be all for ... I'm torn on your example, though, and would have to take them on a case-by-case basis. There's actually a policy on cooking.SE on "how to use" questions that takes into consideration obscurity -- so asking about "how can I use flour" will get closed, while less well known ingredients might not.

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