Citizen Data Evangelists, CDOs, & Sunshine Week in the News

March 16, 2017 12:00 pm PST | Data News Roundup
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Another exciting week in the government digital transformation brings us wise words from New York City’s Amen Ra Mashariki, cost-savings data from the Data Foundation’s Hudson Hollister, and reports back on transparency across the U.S. from Sunshine Week. Get up to speed with this week’s Data News Roundup.

Open Data Is Changing How New York City Government Works

“Over the weekend, Amen Ra Mashariki — a Brooklyn native and head of the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) — was evangelizing for open data. But he told an audience of civic tech enthusiasts that he hoped future open data evangelizers would be not data professionals, but regular New Yorkers who could demonstrate what open data does for them.” Read more from AM New York.

The Job of Data: The Chiefs in Charge of Data in the C Suite

“Monitoring snowplows in real time to keep residents moving, streamlining park maintenance and working to improve highway safety are all ways state and local agencies leverage data to generate results for taxpayers. But each agency has a slightly different approach to data, based on its organization and where it is on the journey from warehousing, an early collection step, to visualization and analysis.” Read more from Government Technology.

Sunshine Week 2017: Where Does Public Access to Government Data Stand?

“Sunshine Week is an opportunity for everyone to step back and look at the big picture of transparency in government. Where some in the public sector have earned high marks for responsiveness and accuracy, others have missed the mark and should re-evaluate their processes. The public demands it. In recent years, we have seen an explosion of open data portals and never-before-seen data sets making their way into the public eye, but other information must still be sought out. Read more from Government Technology.

Switch to Open Data Could Save Companies $10B Annually

“A switch to standardized, open federal data formats could save U.S. companies roughly $10 billion in annual compliance costs, according to new research. The practice of replacing document-based reporting with standardized and open data formats, or standard business reporting (SBR), would reduce compliance costs and allow for the implementation of software that could remove much of the current complexity and overlap in the regulatory process, Hudson Hollister, interim president of the Data Foundation, told FedScoop this week.” Read more from FedScoop.

Philadelphia Has a Blueprint on How to Make City Streets Safer

“A three-year plan to make Philadelphia’s streets safer includes proposals that touch on virtually every aspect of road travel around Philadelphia….[The report puts] an emphasis on data collection, such as a database combining police crash data with hospital trauma information, and a review of new developments to learn how they affect traffic safety.” Read more from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Using Astronomy to Fight Urban Blight

“[Phil Garboden, a doctoral student in sociology and applied math, and Michael Braverman, acting Commissioner for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City are] combining publicly available data with GIS technology to create a database of the city’s housing stock. This will serve as a base to do high-level statistical analyses that can help officials make better, data-driven evaluations of current and future interventions. It could help Baltimore study, among other things, when and why homes are abandoned, and at what point a vacant home starts affecting nearby properties.” Read more from the Atlantic’s City Lab.

Kick-Starting Data-Driven Government

“As the civic data field matures, more cities are discovering the value of data to improve government and asking how they can more fully join the movement. The path a public-sector leader should take to move from analog government to analytics-driven decision-making requires following sound advice and proven examples. Purchasing or building a data solution is only worth the investment when accompanied by the right planning, staffing and support to ensure that the tools not only solve an immediate civic problem but will generate long-term improvement.” Read more from Data-Smart City Solutions.

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