Meet DataDriven: NOLA’s Click-Worthy, Informative Site for Everything Data
A ticker at the top of New Orleans’ newly launched DataDriven site blasts attention-grabbing metrics about the city, such as the number of open businesses (13,397), car accidents the previous day (38), closed 311 tickets to date (2,546), and open roadwork projects (1,095).
It’s downright captivating — even for non-residents. This type of informative, sticky use of data is at the heart of the site’s mission to share the city’s open data, stoke interest in using the datasets, and promote exciting, data-driven projects.
Here’s a look at how the newly launched clearinghouse for NOLA’s data helps further these goals.
Creates a Home for 200+ Datasets…with More to Come
Leverage open data is nothing new for New Orleans, which has used data for many years to share information on blight and other local concerns. But, in 2016, the city adopted its first-ever Data Policy, which requires New Orleans to proactively release publishable data, maintain an open data portal, and encourage the public, city agencies, and other partners to use available data in innovative ways.
Exploring the 200+ datasets available on the site is easy. And, it’s engaging: The site uses API calls to the city’s data portal to dynamically refresh the page, so users can see the most current, and the most popular, datasets available, as well as inputting search terms.
Not all of the city’s data is published for public consumption but there is a list of data that could be. Homepage visitors are invited to share use cases where they think a certain type of data could be used to solve a problem. This feature helps the city prioritize its “to publish” list.
Also available on the site: The City of New Orleans 2017 Annual Data Report, which details the city’s progress on the goals established in the ‘16 data policy.
Engage Potential Data Users
One of NOLA’s big data goals is to “Build a community that encourages citizens and departments to use City data in creative ways to solve problems.”
The website displays two strategies New Orleans uses to further this goal:
1. Train Data Coordinators
A tab on the site is devoted to a training guide, a rich resource for the city’s Data Coordinators who represent their departments. (Identifying Data Coordinators is an objective in the Data Policy; per the annual report, 75% of participating departments have appointed a coordinator.) With this guide, Data Coordinators can get advice on how to inventory their departments’ data, prioritize datasets for publishing, and report on progress.
2. Partner with Departments
NOLAlytics, the analytics team at the Office of Performance and Accountability, is open for pitches. The team is eager to partner with city departments to improve real-world problems using data. On the NOLAlytics tab on the website, the team walks through the basics of analytics, and details six categories of data-driven projects that can help generate insights, improve service delivery, or help departments work smarter. (Watch Oscar Wise, Digital Government Principal for Socrata and former Director of the Office of Performance Accountability in New Orleans, describe how the city used data to target the fire department’s efforts to provide free smoke detectors to high-fire-risk communities.)
Show Off Data-Driven Projects
The site is also a vehicle for sharing and storytelling, engaging city residents and the media with visualizations, maps, and data-powered apps that can help inform and improve quality of life.
Having a central location for all these projects makes it easy to find and explore them.
DataDriven also serves as a communication vehicle, which can be particularly helpful when it comes to detangling thorny local issues. In a page devoted to examining short-term rentals in New Orleans, residents can get an overview of the complex process to apply for a license for a short-term rental and see why a rejected application is not necessarily a denied one:
Socrata is proud to have partnered with New Orleans on this re-imagining of what an open data site could look like. New Orleans’ new DataDriven site is a testament of the many options — from forming partnerships to sharing stories to displaying quick wins — that can result after data is published.
Eager to revamp your data site and further engage government staffers and citizens? We’d love to help design a solution that works for you. Contact us to get the conversation started.