Who are you?
Upstream Research™ is a health information company that aggregates, analyzes, and visualizes terabytes of global, federal, state and local data for any location in seconds. Upstream Research was founded in 2015 in Seattle, Washington, by a team of scientists and entrepreneurs on a mission to make health and environmental information more accessible and actionable to the public. Upstream Research empowers individuals and organizations to better understand relationships between environments and health where they live, work and play. Upstream Reports™ and the Upstream Toxicity Index™ are products of Upstream Research.
Where do you currently get your data?
Upstream Reports™ gather data from a variety of sources. The vast majority of our environmental data comes from different U.S. government agencies, primarily the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The majority of health data is derived from Centers for Disease Control (CDC) databases, such as the National Program of Cancer Registries. Most of our socioeconomic indicators are taken from the American Community Survey (ACS), administered by the United States Census Bureau.
Each dataset is cleaned up and organized into our unified platform. This can mean filtering out unnecessary data, transforming data values to be readable by our system, and fixing obvious problems. While we don’t change the meaning of the data, we will change formatting when necessary, such as matching normal names to obscure government codes. Sometimes, datasets will have placeholder records in the which need to be removed, and some will have duplicate records, or they will be missing a set of records that we have to track down. With each dataset, we spend a lot of time assessing the data to determine how to present it effectively, and to analyze the locations where it is most interesting. Some datasets, such as lead exposure risk, are pulled together from various risk factors according to peer-reviewed scientific methods.
My Upstream Report cites data from an earlier year – how do I know if my data is accurate?
We always use the freshest data we can get our hands on, but because of the challenges involved with collecting and verifying data, sometimes it can lag a bit. For example, the “2011 National Air Toxics Assessment” was actually a five year assessment released in December of 2015. Even though sometimes these datasets can be older, they still paint an accurate and useful picture of environmental health. While we try to work with partner organizations to speed up the collection and processing of these important data, we will continue to regularly updates your Upstream Reports with more data, fresher data, and deeper analysis.
My Upstream Report only gives me information for a specific location. Is there a way I can explore regional trends?
Yes! We have made some key datasets related to childhood risk available in the form of a map. You can explore more broadly with our risk map here: https://upstreamreports.com/risk-map
Why did you start this company?
We believe that every individual has the right to access data regarding the environmental and health quality of any place that matters to them. We exist to fill a gap of understanding around the quality of our environment (built and natural) and its relationship to disease/health/quality of life by making information easily available to individuals as well as nonprofits, research universities, healthcare and real estate.
Our first objective is centered around organizing, unifying and delivering all relevant available data concerning environmental and community health quality about a particular community or location to citizens and organizations.
Our second objective is to be a platform for newly developed information, gathering resources or research on health and environmental information that may not find a place in governmental channels in the current political climate. However, we don’t see ourselves as competitors with government agencies but a complimentary outlet of information.
We believe by empowering individuals with accessible information about their own backyards and integrating key aspects of this data within processes like healthcare and real estate, we can make environmental health information and research not just more valuable but indispensable.
What’s the difference between Upstream Research and Upstream Reports?
Upstream Research began as a company that originally focused on organizing, analyzing, and visualizing environment and health data for the healthcare industry, so that companies could engage in more effective preventative care. Upstream Reports is our effort to empower concerned parents and citizens with the same information. We want to build awareness and give people the tools to make things better for themselves, their children, and their neighborhoods.
In short, Upstream Research is the parent company and Upstream Reports is our product.
You are a for-profit company...how does that impact my Report?
While it’s true that we are a for-profit company, we believe that the information we display in Reports should be available to the public at no charge. That is why we offer a free subscription option. While our platform for individuals is free for noncommercial use, we do see ourselves also as a product for enterprise industries, because we have created several proprietary datasets and analytics tools such as the Upstream Toxicity Index. While these analytics are currently available to the public for free, Upstream provides licenses to enterprise and nonprofit organizations that seek to use our data on a larger scale.
Why do I have to register an email address if you’re offering free Reports?
When you register your email address it serves two important purposes. Firstly, it gives us some assurance that you are not a robot so that we can offer you a free subscription. Secondly, it allows you to organize your reports into a convenient list tied to your account.
How do I sign up?
Sign up with Facebook, Google+, or enter an email and password of your choosing by clicking "Need an Account?"
Click "Search for a Place" and enter any place in the United States.
If you still have additional questions about who we are and what our methodologies are, feel free to drop us a line at [email protected].