I'm running for city council in a small town on the platform of transparency... really like 18f api standards, looking to find a schema to describe expenses and donations for the campaign - ie some place to create an endpoint that could be harvested by a 3rd party... looking for schemas in general - I'm using schema.org for the markup - and could probably come up with something from there? just curious whether this makes sense as an approach / if someone else is doing something similar
The first thing to consider is what data you have and what format is it in.
Whatever it is, you can first make it available in a bulk download. Providing all the data and updating it on a schedule is a vast improvement that doesn't require a lot of overhead.
Then, take stock of what kind of format the data is in. If you have the data in PDFs, focus on a way to get that information into a data base. If the records are being kept in excel, that is at least structured but you would want to upgrade to a database as well.
If the information is in a database, then making an API is not too complicated. I would suggest a json API. Making the field names clear and readable can go a long way. Having good documentation is very important- even the best schema is frustrating if there is poor documentation.
The level of detail that you can give is dependent on the underlying detail in your data.