Socrata Connect Day 2 – Finding Meaning & Sharing Success

March 8, 2017 9:48 am PDT | Open Data

Day two of Socrata Connect in DC continued the great energy of day one and showcased a whole new batch of data innovators.

Here are some highlights from Socrata Connect – Day 2:

In an stirring start to the day, Kakul Srivastava, entrepreneur and former VP of Product at Github, provided insights from Silicon Valley. She suggested that tech has “lost its meaning” and that governments and their data have an opportunity to guide it back.

New York City’s Chief Analytics Officer Amen Ra Mashariki emphasized the need to make a difference with our life’s work. He’s focused solely on impact to New Yorkers’ quality of life with each dataset he publishes. So much so, that he is committed to having only citizens speak publicly about his open data program from now on.

Senior Program Manager for Open Data for the State of Washington, Will Saunders, shared a fabulous list of ways to practice “guerilla bureaucracy.” From connecting with students at rural universities to establishing programs in libraries, Saunders offered multiple ways to make the most of your data available and limited budget. 

One very practical piece of advice from Saunders on starting a performance management program: “The easiest thing to measure is the thing you’ve already done.”

Urban Institute Senior Research Associate Jonathan Schwabish talked about storytelling and what it really means to tell a story with data. He looked at the history of storytelling and emphasized that “a graph is not a story.” People need to be moved, says Schwabish.

Los Angeles Chief Data Officer Lilian Coral joined Conor Rifle of Cities and Data Product Innovation (CDP) onstage to explain that “all data is sustainability data.” LA is using environmental datasets to drive better outcomes on poverty, crime, and more. 

The day ended with a moving and hilarious talk by Jackson, MS Mayor Tony Yarber. Known for his upbeat style, Yarber did not disappoint. He said that, “Good government isn’t good government unless everyone has their hands in it.” And, he believes data is the way to engage citizens best.

Want to know more about Socrata Connect? Go to Socrata’s Twitter feed and check out #SocrataConnect for more highlights.


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March 9, 2017