CACS Government Research

  • CA


Mountain View

United States

About Us


  • Open government financial data to the public
  • Inform Californians about governmental inefficiencies
  • Propose effective and efficient government policies

Who We Are

California Common Sense (CACS) is a Stanford-based nonprofit whose government transparency projects and research harness new technology to reveal fragmented administration and overlapping state entities.The Stanford student team is also analyzing California’s financial data in order to identify ways to protect California’s long-term fiscal future.

CACS began in 2010 when a team of concerned Stanford students and alumni mapped the hierarchy of the California state government. CACS is the first organization in history to mine California's vast records and successfully construct an organizational mapping of the several thousand state agencies, departments, councils, committees, branches, sections, divisions, and subdivisions—many of them redundant—within California's executive branch. This online research base and user-friendly map will enable CACS to demonstrate the case for establishing better governance.

Key Projects

To educate the public about the state’s expenditures and revenues, CACS has created California’s first-ever interactive data transparency portal that showcases detailed data from most state entities.The portal includes financial data not only for California, but also for most states around the country, enabling citizens to make apples to apples comparisons of state governments finances. This new high-tech visualization tool vastly improves government transparency throughout the nation and allows the public to see how California measures up against other states.

Through the data transparency portal, CACS will also launch a series of policy solutions to promote more effective and efficient governance, showing how California’s government can offer the same services for billions less.CACS is bridging the gap between Silicon Valley and Sacramento. We are quickly becoming the most comprehensive source for visualizations of data and interactive social forums pertaining to state, local, and county government. Soon, we will launch an interactive forum to connect citizens to their politicians and engage in data-driven discourse.