Instructions and FAQ

Welcome! Thank you for using Woodstock Institute’s data portal. In order to help you use it as effectively as possible, we’ve created a set of basic instructions for its use.

Navigating the menu

Choosing geographic areas

Viewing the data

Downloading/exporting data

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Cook County Subregion Definitions

Switch between sections of the data portal by clicking on the tab for the section you wish to visit. Some sections have sub-sections, which you can navigate via the sub-menu.

Choosing geographic areas

Depending on the section of the data portal, users are able to choose to view data from up to three different types of geographic locations:

  • County – Data will be based on Chicago-area counties (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will are available)
  • Community Area – Data will be based on the Chicago region’s 77 community areas. Counties, except for Cook, are displayed wholly alongside the community areas.
  • Municipality – Data will be based on incorporated municipalities in the Chicago six-county region. Unincorporated areas are displayed for each county.

Using the drop down menus, users can choose which geographic locations you would like to see data from.

Be careful when selecting geographies from more than one menu (e.g. selecting Lake from the County menu, then Barrington from the Municipality menu will give you data for only parts of Barrington in Lake County, excluding parts in Cook County). In order to see all of the data in a certain geography, make sure that the “All” option is selected for the menus of geographies that are not being used (e.g., to see all the data in Barrington, ensure that all counties are selected in the “County” menu). For most sections, all geographies are automatically selected by default.

Depending on the section, data will display as either a total of selected geographies or display each geographic location separately. The example below shows data for six counties separately.

To reset all visualizations to their original setting, clearing all selections and filters, you can click the reset button located at the bottom of each page:

Viewing the data

Visualizations give you an overview of how the data has changed over a period of time in a certain area or areas. To view one data point, hover your mouse over the point you wish to see. A window will pop up with the data.

You can sort the data in a visualization by any measure on an axis or heading. Hover over the measure you wish to sort by, and click the sort button. One click will sort in ascending order, two clicks will sort in descending order, and three clicks will return to the original order.

To filter data, hover over the data point or measure you would like to filter by. You can then choose to exclude the data you hovered over, or keep only (exclude all other data). In the example below, the user has hovered over 2007, then chosen keep only.

Downloading/exporting data

Note: The software company our visualizations are built with is currently having technical issues with some exporting functions. We have been informed these issues should be resolved soon.

For most sections of the data portal, users are able to download or export selected data and visualizations for personal use. There are four different ways you can export data or visualizations, all located at the bottom of each data page:

  • Image – exports the entire section as an image. You can then crop to use individual visualizations.
  • Crosstab – exports selected data in a crosstabs format.
  • Data – opens a new window with selected data in table format. From this table you can download data in a text file (CSV).
  • PDF – exports the entire section as a PDF document. You can choose from several options to tailor the PDF to your liking.

For Crosstabs and Data exports, users must select data in a certain visualization. To do so, click and drag over the data you would like to export. Once you let go of your click, the data you selected will be highlighted. This works for any type of visualization:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get similar maps, charts, graphs, etc. for more specific or different data?

Woodstock does offer technical assistance for community organizations and other nonprofits. Please contact us at (312) 368-0310 for more information.

Why is the ________ data displayed as totals instead of individual geographic areas?

Decisions on how data is displayed were based on the data source and how we thought the majority of users were find it to be most useful. If you would like data displayed differently for work you are doing, please consider contacting Woodstock Institute for technical assistance.

Why is some data not available for exporting?

Some agreements with data sources prevent us from disclosing point-level data. Please contact Woodstock Institute for technical assistance if you are interested in acquiring a license to the data to view point-level data.


Foreclosure filing: The beginning of the foreclosure process in Illinois, also referred to as a Lis Pendens. Not every property that has a foreclosure filing will complete the foreclosure process. This statistic is a good measure of economic distress in neighborhoods but should not be considered a “true foreclosure.”

Foreclosure auction: The conclusion of the foreclosure process in Illinois. The result is either a property that has been sold to a third party at auction or, if no acceptable bid was made, the property was retained by the mortgage servicer.

Real Estate Owned (REO): Refers to a property that completed the foreclosure process by going to auction but was retained by the mortgage servicer because no acceptable bid was made at auction. These properties can pose challenges to neighborhoods as they are almost certainly vacant and the level of maintenance and security may vary greatly.

Quintile: One-fifth of a set of data. On the income data page, the selected population is ordered from lowest household income to highest, and equally divided into five groups (quintiles). The first quintile, therefore, has the 20 percent of the population with the lowest household income.

Cook County Subregion Definitions

Click below to see a PDF file with a list of municipalities included in each of the Cook County subregions:

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Janice Guzon at or (312) 368-0310.

Data Portal Sponors


US Bank


BMO Harris

Chemical Bank

Northern Trust

Wintrust Financial

Midland States Bank

Marquette Bank

First Savings Bank of Hegewisch

Providence Bank & Trust

Associated Bank

Capital One

Chicago Community Trust



Fifth Third Bank

First Midwest Bank

Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce

Illinois Treasurer’s Charitable Trust Stabilization Fund

Harris Family Foundation

Huntington National Bank

JPMorgan Chase

MUFG Union Bank

Polk Bros. Foundation

Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

VantageScore Solutions

Woods Fund Chicago