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By Jane Wiseman

Civic Analytics Network Members – Quick Facts

The table below includes summary information for the participants in the Civic Analytics Network as of December 2016.

 

City

 

Name

 

Title

 

Reports to

Year Position Created

 

FTE

Allegheny Co, PA

 

Erin Dalton

Deputy Director,

Data Analysis, Research, and Evaluation

Department of Human Services Director

2007

40

Boston, MA

Andrew Therriault

Chief Data Officer

Chief Information Officer

2016

22

Chicago, IL

 

Tom Schenk

 

Chief Data Officer,

Department of Innovation and Technology

Chief Information Officer

2011

13

Cincinnati, OH

Brandon Crowley

Chief Data Officer

Chief Performance Officer

2014

1

Denver, CO

Scott Cardenas

 

Chief Information Officer

CDO function is divided among Chief of Staff, CIO, and City Attorney

N/A

N/A

Kansas City, KS

Alan Howze

 

Chief Knowledge Officer

Assistant County Administrator

2016

5

Los Angeles, CA

Lillian P. Coral

Chief Data Officer, Director of Mayor’s Data Team

Deputy Mayor - Office of Budget and Innovation

2013

4

Louisville, KY

 

Michael Schnuerle

Data Officer,

Performance Improvement and Innovation

Chief of Civic Innovation

2016

2

Minneapolis, MN

 

Eero M. Kilkson

 

Director of Business Intelligence and Data Services

Chief Information Officer

2015

5

New Orleans, LA

Oliver Wise

Director, Office of Performance and Accountability

1st Deputy Mayor, New Orleans Chief Administrative Officer

2010

6

New York, NY

 

Amen Ra Mashariki

 

Chief Analytics Officer, Director of Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics

Director of Operations

2013

8

Philadelphia, PA

Tim Wisniewski

Chief Data Officer

Chief Administrative Officer

2012

10

Pittsburgh, PA

 

Laura Meixell

 

Analytics and Strategy Manager,

Department of Innovation and Performance

Chief Innovation & Performance Officer

2014

4

San Diego, CA

 

Maksim Pecherskiy

 

Chief Data Officer,

Performance & Analytics Department

Director of Performance and Analytics

2014

2

San Francisco, CA

Joy Bonaguro

Chief Data Officer

Mayor

2013

7

San Jose, CA

 

Erica Garaffo

 

Data Analytics Lead,

Office of Innovation and Digital Strategy

Deputy City Manager, Office of Civic Innovation and Digital Strategy

2016

4

Seattle, WA

Leah Tivoli

 

Organizational Performance Manager

Organizational Performance Director

2016

1

South Bend, IN

Santiago Garces

 

Chief Innovation Officer

Mayor

2014

25

Washington, DC

 

Barney Krucoff

 

Chief Data Officer, Office of the Chief Technology Officer

Chief Technology Officer

2016

19

 

 

 

Profiles of Selected CAN Members

As has been described in the preceding pages, there is no one single way to structure an urban analytics organization, nor is there one common set of duties or priorities across organizations. To demonstrate the range of responsibilities and achievements of CDOs, brief profiles of selected analytics teams were created. The CDOs who formed the informal network (now funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and expanded) received funding to support fellows in their cities. These fellows are responsible for documenting and sharing successes from their cities, and contributed the profiles in the pages that follow. Selected other cities volunteered their time and attention so that their cities could be profiled as well. The profiles that follow are intended to assist a new CDO in understanding the diversity of possible organizational and policy priorities.

Chicago Profile

Program Advisor Sean Thornton contributed this profile.

FAST FACTS:

  • Leader: Tom Schenk, Chief Data Officer
  • Reports to: Chief Information Officer
  • Year established: 2011, via executive order from the Mayor
  • # on team: 13

 

BIO:

Tom Schenk is a researcher, author, and an expert in a number of fields, including open government, data visualization, business and research and policy in education. He leads the City of Chicago’s efforts to use data analytics to improve operations and services. He has previously served as a consultant for Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability at the Iowa Department of Education, where he led efforts to use student-level longitudinal data to evaluate education programs. He earned a Master’s degree in economics from Iowa State University and a Bachelor’s from Drake University.

 

 

KEY FOCUS AREAS:

  • Manages open data program and portal operations
  • Oversees the city’s database management, business intelligence, and data visualization platforms
  • Oversees advanced analytics unit, which includes piloting, launching, and operationalizing projects as well as engaging in relevant partnerships

 

 

RECENT/NOTABLE PROJECTS:

  • OpenGrid: OpenGrid, designed by Schenk’s team and a host of local partners, serves as a geographic information system that presents a unified view of city data, past and present, across a map of Chicago. OpenGrid gives residents the ability to visualize and understand city data to a level far beyond the current data portal, greatly enhancing transparency efforts between the city and public. As on open-source technology, OpenGrid is also a model for cities across the country to replicate as an alternative to standard data portals.
  • SmartData Platform: Chicago’s SmartData Platform, currently in development, is the country’s first municipal open-source predictive analytics platform, that will analyze millions of lines of data in real time to help leaders make smarter, faster decisions to help address and prevent problems before they develop. The platform is a winning project for the 2013 Mayors Challenge, a Bloomberg Philanthropies competition to develop solutions to major urban challenges.
  • Food Inspection Analytics: Schenk’s Department of Innovation and Technology team and the Department of Public Health partnered with an Allstate Insurance pro-bono team to develop an analytics-based procedure to enhance food inspections processes. By doing this, Chicago was able to discover critical violations, on average, seven days earlier than with the traditional inspection procedure. 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS:

Chicago’s Chief Data Officer Position was first created in 2011, during Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first year in office. The position, held by former OpenTable startup pioneer and police officer Brett Goldstein, began as a role held within the Mayor’s Office that reported directly to the Mayor. Goldstein’s major accomplishment during this era was the development of WindyGrid, a map-based situational awareness tool built entirely in-house. WindyGrid was successfully piloted as an interoperability tool for city departments to manage the 2012 NATO Summit, held in Chicago.

 

In 2012, the position was strategically moved to the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), where Goldstein retained the CDO title while also becoming DoIT’s Commissioner and CIO for the City. This move was done to (1) help shield the CDO’s work from the political demands of the Mayor’s Office, (2) help ensure the position’s long-term sustainability within an operational department, and (3) relocate it in an IT environment that would be most relevant for enabling the successful deployment of various data and IT projects.

 

In 2014, following Goldstein’s departure from the City of Chicago, Tom Schenk was appointed Chief Data Officer, a role in which he currently serves. Schenk is the first Chief Data Officer of the City of Chicago who began his tenure within the Department of Innovation and Technology. Rather than reporting to the Mayor, Schenk reports to DoIT’s Commissioner and Chief Information Officer of the City, Brenna Berman. 

At DoIT, Schenk oversees a team of 13 people, which includes one data scientist, one open data program manager, two business intelligence analysts, and nine database analysts. This gives Schenk a larger team and operational edge that is unique to Chicago, as he does not have to coordinate with a separate department to access the city’s database management team.

 

Throughout his tenure, Schenk has focused heavily on expanding what is available on Chicago’s data portal, one of the oldest and most robust in the nation. Chicago's open data portal provides user-friendly access to 600+ datasets (and growing), allowing the public to browse data in a spreadsheet-like format and create maps and graphs. Sample datasets include all Chicago crimes from 2001-present, energy usage by census block, and all city budget appropriations. Recent data posted includes Chicago Department of Transportation permits and the “problem landlord list,” which highlights property managers with multiple violations and has been one of the city’s most viewed lists. Datasets including 311 information, parking terminals, building ordinance violations, and data on Chicago’s popular bike-sharing program, Divvy, have all been either recently released or are being prepared for release.

 

Schenk has also been one of the nation’s preeminent CDO advocates of open-source tools and technologies. Major initiatives such as OpenGrid and the SmartData Platform have been developed open-source not only as a cost-effective strategy, but to enable collaboration and replication by other cities across the city and the world.

 

Schenk’s team has also worked to modernize the city’s database management systems. In the past year, the team has consolidated database licensing to minimize annual costs. Of $3 million in annual feeds, the database administration team reduced annual fees by $600,000 per year, a 20% reduction in costs.

 

 

Los Angeles Profile

Data Fellow Sari Ladin contributed this profile.

 

FAST FACTS:

  • Leader: Lilian Coral, Chief Data Officer, Director of Mayor’s Data Team
  • Reports to: Deputy Mayor, Office of Budget and Innovation
  • Year established: The Data Team was established by Mayor Garcetti’s Executive Directive 3 passed in 2013; first CDO was appointed in 2014
  • Team name: Mayor’s Data Team
  • # on team: 4

 

BIO:

Lilian Coral joined the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti after 15 years working on a wide range of health and human services issues as an advocate and executive leader. Having worked with labor unions, NGOs, foundations, and human service agencies at all levels of government, she applies her experience to re-thinking the way government uses data and technology to serve its citizens. Most recently, as the founding Director of 2–1–1 California, she led a network of 26 non-governmental organizations, available to over 33 million Californians. Ms. Coral holds a master’s degree in public policy from UCLA and is a native of Colombia, from where much of her inspiration for innovation and social justice emerged. 

 

KEY FOCUS AREAS:

  • Open data: publish and maintain quality, up-to-date city data that can be used by public and private partners to develop insights to the city’s most pressing challenges, and useful and innovative digital solutions for Angelenos
  • Analytics: use best-in-class analytics to tackle mayoral priorities and advance citywide capabilities in data analytics
  • Digital services: advance user-centered design in development of all city digital services

 

 

RECENT/NOTABLE PROJECTS:

  • GeoHub: The map-based portal powered by Esri serves as a foundation to do the work of making smarter cities: It pulls data from many different places and weaves together various perspectives to create the most compelling maps and apps.
  • CleanStat: CleanStat is the nation’s most comprehensive street cleanliness assessment that provides quarterly, block-by-block data to identify trends in street cleanliness. As part of Mayor Eric Garcetti's Clean Streets initiative, the City's Bureau of Sanitation travels over 22,000 miles and gives each block a cleanliness score from 1-3. Using the GeoHub, users can type in their address to learn more about how their streets scored.
  • Vision Zero: Vision Zero data links demographics, the built environment, and health outcomes, serving as a tool to inform transportation safety planning and policy in Los Angeles.
  • Mayor’s Dashboard: A dynamic performance tool used to improve delivery of quality customer services to every resident in Los Angeles and produce the most livable, prosperous, well run and safe City that Angelenos deserve.

 

 

BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS:

The Mayor’s Data Team is responsible for supporting Mayor Garcetti’s data-driven government by managing the city’s open data assets; producing performance dashboards to review the city’s progress through data; assisting departments in automating their open data; and leading analytics projects with internal and external partners in the city, academia, and the civic tech community.

 

 

New Orleans Profile

 

 

FAST FACTS:

  • Leader: Oliver Wise, Director, Office of Performance and Accountability
  • Reports to: 1st Deputy Mayor, New Orleans Chief Administrative Officer
  • Year established: Wise joined New Orleans in 2010
  • Team name: NOLAlytics
  • # on team:  6

 

BIO:

Oliver Wise is the founding director of the City of New Orleans’ Office of Performance and Accountability (OPA), the city’s first data analytics and performance management team. Launched in 2011 by Mayor Landrieu, OPA leverages data to set goals, track performance, and get results across government. Oliver’s work has been recognized with a Certificate of Excellence by the International City Managers Association, an Innovation Award from the Bureau of Governmental Research and a Bright Idea award from the Harvard University Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. He was also named to Government Technology’s “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers” list for 2015. He holds an M.P.A. from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a B.A. from Tufts University.

 

 

KEY FOCUS AREAS:

  • Performance and stat programs
  • Analytics

 

 

RECENT/NOTABLE PROJECTS:

  • BlightSTAT: Using a stat process and leveraging address-level data across five agencies, New Orleans reduced blight by over 15,000 units. Inspection time dropped from 160 days to 80 days. The city also created an app so the public can submit photos with facts on properties in decline, preventing blight through civic engagement.
  • Smoke Signals: Last year analytics literally saved 11 lives (including a baby) because they left a burning building when their smoke alarm went off. The family had been given a free smoke alarm in a new data-driven distribution program. A tragic loss of life inspired the fire chief to seek Wise’s help in improving its smoke alarm program. Wise’s team used analytics to do two things – predict which homes were most likely to have a fire, and predict which homes most likely lacked smoke detectors. Those two predictions pinpointed where the fire department could prioritize distribution of alarms, block by block.
  • Datadriven.NOLA.gov: The city recently launched a site that integrates the work of its open data, stat, analytics, and GIS efforts, combining in one place nearly all data-driven efforts. This single hub provides all products and apps in a “one stop shop” for data-driven government. At this site is an explanation in plain English of what the analytics program can do for departments and the types of government problems that can be addressed with analytics, along with an explanation of how to apply to be one of the three to five projects NOLAlytics takes on in 2017. Links allow the user to drill down for more detail on the types of analytics projects that NOLAlytics can execute. The team held an open house and is doing outreach meetings to proactively educate departments about analytics and to identify specific applications. This intentionality in identifying new opportunities is a strong statement about the maturity of the organization – they have moved from startup mode to fully operational.

 

 

BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS:

Oliver Wise, hailed by Bloomberg.com as “the best of data science use in government innovation today,” leads the New Orleans Office of Performance and Accountability. Established by Mayor Landrieu in 2010 to set goals, track progress and measure results, Wise’s office runs weekly performance stat meetings that cover topic areas such as blight elimination, customer service, quality of life, and contracting. Results are shared publicly at Results NOLA.

 

Three years after launching the stat program, Wise found that early impressive gains had started to level off. At that same time, he learned of the work of Mike Flowers, (then) Chief Analytics Officer in New York City working for Mayor Bloomberg. What inspired Wise about Flowers’ work was how it became a game-changing operational tool for departments, helping to improve progress by using data.

 

This inspiration led to the creation of an analytics program, NOLAlytics, within the Office of Performance and Accountability. Describing how the stat and analytics roles complement each other, Wise says, “Our job is about the use of data.” His team runs city stat meetings, so they understand the operational issues of city departments, many of which can be addressed through analytics. Analytics projects can be sourced via the stat process, by mayoral request, or as a request from a commissioner in a department. 

 

Once a project is agreed upon, one person on the staff manages the process of defining and scoping the project. This person does the due diligence – what the project is, what the deliverable will be, what the data is, data availability, and the questions in the project. Then Wise matches the resources available to the project, often finding external pro bono partners to help.

 

Wise has been successful in finding outside partners to work either on a pro bono or highly discounted basis. Louisiana State University (LSU) is contributing pro-bono support to current research projects, using open-source software to examine historical 911 calls and traffic conditions to identify the optimal posting locations for ambulances, so they can cover the most area of the city within an acceptable response time threshold.

 

 

ADVICE TO A NEW CDO:

  • Start with problems and then come up with ideas where analytics can be brought to bear. He advises against starting with a technology tool or approach rather than with the question. He has also devised a methodology for making sure the question is carefully articulated before the project begins, creating what he calls “use case truffle pigs” who can assess the project for its appropriateness for analytics, exploring, for example, if there can be an actionable insight at the end.
  • Wise focuses on the “minimum viable product” rather than a result that must be perfected to be used. As he says, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
  • He is practical and action-oriented and his advice to a new CDO is to not be afraid to try something. As he found with an A-B testing project for various nudges, if something doesn’t work, you learn what you can and go onto the next thing.
  • Roadblocks are part of the process and teamwork can be part of the solution. During the smoke alarm project, initial attempts to analyze building permit data dead-ended over major data quality problems. The team considered doing a survey to figure out which buildings had smoke alarms, but realized having firefighters go door-to-door was not only expensive, it was also impractical. Then, a “breakthrough idea happened by chance” when a team member working on another project found that the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey (AHS) gathers data on smoke alarms. This discovery would not have happened without a shared investment in the team’s results – knowing what teammates are working on and where they are finding difficulty is the first step in helping them find the right data.

 

 

New York City Profile

Data Fellow Craig Campbell contributed this profile.

 

FAST FACTS:

  • Leader: Amen Ra Mashariki, Chief Analytics Officer, Director of Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics
  • Reports to: Director of Operations
  • Year established: MODA was established by NYC Executive Order 306 in 2013
  • Team name: Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA)
  • # on team: 8

 

BIO:

Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki, Chief Analytics Officer for the City of New York, is an accomplished leader within government, academia, and the private sector. He started his professional career as a software engineer at Motorola working on over-the-air data transmission projects and led a team of user-interface developers to build components of security features for handheld devices. Prior to his work in New York City, Dr. Mashariki served as Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Dr. Mashariki holds a Doctor of Engineering from Morgan State University, a Master of Science in Computer Science from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Lincoln University. He is a Brooklyn native and attended Brooklyn Tech High School.

 

 

KEY FOCUS AREAS:

  • Collaborating with city agencies to implement data-driven solutions on analytics projects
  • Building citywide platforms for data sharing
  • Implementing the city’s Open Data Law

 

 

RECENT/NOTABLE PROJECTS:

  • Open Data for All: New York’s open data strategy commits to making datasets released through the Open Data Portal more accessible, useful, and user-friendly for all New Yorkers, not just the tech-savvy.
  • Data Drills: In partnership with Office of Emergency Management, MODA convenes data owners from city agencies to simulate how NYC’s data assets are mobilized and integrated during an emergency situation. The first Data Drill in 2016 brought together a range of agencies with varying levels of data maturity. Subsequent drills included agencies that have existing data analytics capacities in order to fully leverage the citywide focus and skillset of the MODA team. “Hotwashes” following the drill provide an opportunity to examine pain points in the coordination of multiple data workflows in order to plan improvements and develop “muscle memory” for more agile responses.
  • Targeted enforcement: MODA analysts have built several predictive models that allow for the prioritization of inspections resources for illegal housing practices, including tenant harassment, source-of-income discrimination, and illegal conversions of apartments. MODA is working with the NYC Commission on Human Rights to develop a model predicting where landlords are most likely to illegally reject affordable housing vouchers. A partnership with the Tenant Harassment Task Force (THTF) uses NYC data to drive the prioritization of Task Force inspections by identifying trends and relationships from past cases of harassment.
  • Buildings Intelligence Toolkit: MODA developed a Buildings Intelligence Toolkit, an application that reconciles and visualizes buildings data from multiple agencies according to common Building Identification Numbers (BINs).
  • End-to- end: MODA works with agencies to create end-to-end measurements that track the effectiveness of a given business process from start to finish. These metrics help inform future policy decisions. Past partnerships include work with FDNY and NYPD to chart the lifetime of a 911 call from dial-in to ground response, and with the Small Business Services (SBS) to sum the amount of time it takes (and bottlenecks along the way) for New York entrepreneurs to open new businesses.

 

 

BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS:

The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics is the city’s civic intelligence center, leveraging administrative, open, and private data for actionable insights. As part of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, MODA provides NYC a unique set of capabilities as an ideas incubator for applied operational analytics. Before it was formally coined “MODA,” it was a small team investigating financial crimes in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. A few key ingredients – executive support, early use cases in inspections, and a message well-fit to a swelling nationwide interest in data-driven government – led to MODA’s official institutionalization by then-Mayor Bloomberg in a 2013 executive order. In 2014, in a new administration and under direction of a new Chief Analytics Officer, MODA shifted to a broader vision for citywide data analytics – analytics-in-motion – aligning Mayor de Blasio’s progressive agenda with growing analytics capabilities throughout city government. Open data became Open Data for All, analytics pilots unfolded into a wider analytics culture within partner agencies, and one-off responses to citywide emergencies grew into a strategy for managing the uncertainty in disaster management. MODA, which began as a niche innovation wedged between existing functions in the city, is now advancing the city’s data strategy through the Citywide Intelligence Hub, a nexus of technology, analytics tools, trainings, and data sharing protocol that help the city prepare for the “unknown unknowns” of responsive analytics-in-motion.

 

 

ADVICE TO A NEW CDO:

  • Enabling analysts: “The soul of MODA is the analyst. My philosophy of leadership is to always hire people who are smarter than me. I hire people based less on how well they match a profile of technical skills, more on whether they are curious and aggressive analytical thinkers. As the Chief Analytics Officer for the City of New York, I spend my time getting obstacles out of the way so that my analysts can drive forward on the meaty analytics work in the City.”
  • Direct engagement with the implementing agency or office: “Our successful projects always contain many conversations with the implementing agency on the problems they face, as well as the opportunities they would like to investigate. By engaging with the interested parties directly, we avoid telephone situations about priorities, operational details, and timelines.”

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART:

 

Pittsburgh Profile

Data Fellow Robert Burack contributed this profile.

 

FAST FACTS:

  • Leader: Laura Meixell, Analytics and Strategy Manager
  • Reports to: Chief Innovation & Performance Officer
  • Year established: The Analytics & Strategy Manager role, within the Department of Innovation & Performance, was established in January 2014.
  • Team name: Analytics & Strategy Team
  • # on team: 4

 

 

BIO:

As Analytics and Strategy Manager for the City of Pittsburgh, Laura Meixell leads the City’s open data and data-driven decision-making efforts. She previously served as a Code for America Fellow, and was a Presidential Management Fellow placed with HUD’s Office of Strategic Planning and Management to manage the department’s data-driven performance management program (HUDStat). She started her career in Pittsburgh, working on the Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System as a GIS Research Assistant.

 

 

KEY FOCUS AREAS:

  • Building business intelligence (BI) applications for city departments
  • Working with the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center to provide open data
  • Assisting city departments with data driven decision-making and performance management
  • Supporting the city’s help desk (IT) team on performance improvement

 

 

RECENT/NOTABLE PROJECTS:

  • Open data: Served as lead partner with the County and University of Pittsburgh on the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC), working to publish city datasets.
  • Burgh’s iView: Built versions of Burgh’s iView, a web mapping application, for the city’s Police, Fire, and Permits/Licensing departments, as well as for City Council and 311 (non-emergency requests and complaints submitted by the public). A public version of Burgh’s iView, which incorporates elements of each internal vision, is forthcoming.
  • CityStat: The team is preparing to use real-time and backlogged 311 information to look at the state of city services, and to provide city employees with a more holistic understanding of how their departments are responding to citizen requests.
  • Snowplow Tracker: Built and launched a GPS-enabled application to enable the public to track city snowplows in real time.
  • IT help desk reform: Working to improve performance and responsiveness of the city’s help desk and IT service management by improving how the software is structured. A recent upgrade has provided the ability to link service tickets to devices, for example.
  • Hardware acquisition optimization: Conducted a major review of the process for hardware acquisition, and implemented process improvements.

 

 

BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS:

Both the Analytics and Strategy team, and the department in which it resides (Innovation & Performance), were created in January 2014 during Mayor William Peduto’s first month in office. Previously, there was no position responsible for data management. In fact, prior to the hiring of Analytics and Strategy Manager Laura Meixell, the city had not held a cross-departmental performance stat meeting since 2006. Data work had substantially ceased during the prior administration.

 

Meixell’s first task was to craft the city’s open data policy, and to work with the Mayor’s Office and Council to ensure the legislation’s approval. Initially, Meixell assumed she would begin with a data inventory, and build specific field definitions for existing and future databases, modeled after Chicago’s approach. However, she soon discovered that neither an inventory of systems, nor a list of software (including who managed the software and its use) existed. The lack of documentation was an early indicator that her position would encompass more IT management than she had originally thought.

 

In the first six months, Meixell worked without a team. For the rest of the first year, her team consisted of two interns and a fellow provided by a local civic leadership organization. Together, the team conducted a systems inventory through internal interviews with city departments and their respective employees. Concurrently, the team worked with a team at the University of Pittsburgh to solicit dataset requests from the public and regional stakeholders – requests that would later provide a roadmap for open datasets on the regional open data portal. Meixell collaborated with university and county partners on an initial request to area foundations, which funded both the WPRDC and a Code for America (CFA) team to update the city’s procurement process. Meixell managed the CFA team throughout 2015.

 

While project prioritization in the first two years was largely ad hoc or in response to pressing business needs (there has been no guiding strategic plan), the completion of the systems inventory and hiring of analysts has allowed the team to more proactively address business needs of city departments. Moving away from the early days of cross-departmental partnership building, which Meixell refers to as a “coalition of the willing,” the team’s strategy in working with departments has been to build an initial business intelligence application as an entrée to a longer-term relationship.

 

 

ADVICE TO A NEW CDO:

  • Understand direct applications of technology: “It’s important to go into the field and see and understand the direct applications of technology. Don’t take a department head or supervisor’s word about anything related to technology before you see it in the hands of the end user.”

 

  • Consider trade-offs in dealing with management: “Individuals in the CDO role can sometimes have adverse interactions with management, as their work pushes boundaries and seeks to raise the level of city performance. Be careful to ensure that others see you as part of the city’s ‘team.’ Don’t always push. This is going to be important for cultivating, in the long-term, a community of practice in your city.”

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART:

 

San Francisco Profile

Data Fellow Blake Valenta contributed this profile.

 

FAST FACTS:

  • Leader: Joy Bonaguro, Chief Data Officer
  • Reports to: Mayor, via chief of staff
  • Year established: DataSF was established in 2009; CDO role created in 2013 and position filled in 2014
  • Team name: DataSF
  • # on team: 7 (as of December 2016)

 

 

BIO:

Joy Bonaguro is the first Chief Data Officer for the City and County of San Francisco, where she manages DataSF. Joy has spent more than a decade working at the nexus of public policy, data, and technology. She worked from the birth of the open data and open government field, spending seven years designing and managing development of systems to support planning and decision-making at the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. Prior to that, she worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to help develop technology, cyber, and privacy policy working with the National Lab CIO Council and the Department of Energy Information Management Advisory Group. Joy earned her Masters from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, where she focused on IT policy.

 

KEY FOCUS AREAS:

The current strategic plan lists seven goals:

  • Make timely data easily available
  • Improve the usability, quality, and consistency of data
  • Increase use of data in decision-making
  • Promote efficient and effective data governance
  • Foster innovations in data
  • Improve communications and storytelling
  • Continuously improve, scale, maintain, and monitor our work

 

 

RECENT/NOTABLE PROJECTS:

  • Established Center to Improve Confidential Data Sharing: Building out the governance, policies and procedures, and infrastructure to improve cross-departmental and jurisdictional data sharing, collectively called ShareSF. These efforts will promote improved planning and coordinated care.
  • Overhauled Open Data Publishing: City open data legislation requires publishing plans and reports from departments. Established a lightweight process and a platform called DataSF and are in the process of tracking status and progress and reporting it transparently. In Fiscal Year 2015, published 49 datasets and in FY 2016, published 133 (a 171% increase).
  • Query Tool Saves Time for Police Department: The Police Department spent many hours responding to requests for incident data near schools. DataSF helped create a simple tool to divert requests.
  • Civic Collaboration to Deploy Adopt a Drain: Partnered with Public Utilities Commission, Public Works and Code for San Francisco to create “Adopt A Drain,” which engages civic volunteers to clear drains of debris to help limit city flooding.

 

 

BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS:

San Francisco was one of the first cities in the country to establish an open data policy in 2009, which was codified in the city’s administrative code in 2010. While San Francisco has had many early successes in open data, including the launching of the open data portal, the City realized it needed to do more. In 2013 changes to the open data legislation established the role of Chief Data Officer (CDO) and Data Coordinators in each department. Joy Bonaguro was hired as the City’s first CDO and tasked with creating the institutional framework to grow, mature, and sustain San Francisco’s open data program.

Major accomplishments since 2014 include a full inventory of all datasets available in the city, providing data publishing automation to departments, enabling inter-departmental use of confidential data via a the ShareSF program, establishing metadata standards, and increasing the data and technical abilities of City employees through Data Academy, a joint training venture with the Controller’s Office. As of 2016, two-thirds of public datasets are published. Recent streamlining of processes in the publishing process has seen a 171% increase in publication activity in FY 2016.

The DataSF office has also grown in size with the addition in 2014 of Jason Lally, Open Data Manager, and in 2015, Janine Heiser, Open Data Services Engineer, who are together responsible for the rapid increase in the departmental publishing rate. In 2016 Erica Finkle joined as the ShareSF Program Manager and has facilitated the internal sharing of confidential data. Two new positions will also be added to the team in the form of a Data Scientist, who will help expand the analytics work of DataSF, and a Services Engineer, who will help create a public-facing community notices application for the city.

 

ADVICE TO A NEW CDO:

  • Check your ego: “No one who is local cares about your fancy title. In fact, they may view it as a bad thing.”
  • Take time to develop relationships: “A great deal of data work requires trust, and relationships are the foundation for trust. This is deeper and more varied than a client relationship. It includes identifying what relationships you need to broaden support and understanding of the work you are doing beyond single projects. And sometimes it is about creating the forum for others to develop relationships.”
  • Be aware of organizational placement: “Where you sit in the organization will influence the scope and nature of your work. Be conscious of how your office relates to other offices and where natural coalitions or tensions may exist. At least in the beginning, your organizational placement will heavily shape what is expected or anticipated both in terms of work and relationships. Don’t be constrained by this, but be aware of it.”
  • Don’t obsess about quick wins: “Sometimes taking on particular challenges or thorny issues may get you more success than a quick win that may feel trivial or political. Your flexibility here will depend on both organizational placement and the relationships you cultivate.”

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART:

 

Washington, D.C. Profile

 

 

FAST FACTS:

  • Leader: Barney Krucoff, Chief Data Officer (also serves as an executive in the IT Department)
  • Reports to: Office of Chief Technology Officer Year established: first CDO hired in 2016
  • Team name: Office of the Chief Technology Officer Data Team
  • # on team: 19

 

 

BIO:

Barney first joined the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) in 2004 as part of the GIS team. He left for a period to work with the State of Maryland in similar roles prior to returning to OCTO as Chief Data Officer in June 2016. His also worked at the National Capital Planning Commission, a civil engineering company in the private sector, doing mapping and planning work.

 

 

KEY FOCUS AREAS:

  • The CDO mission is to improve the quality and lower the cost of city/department services through collective investment in and effective application of data and systems and reach beyond the city/department by making data freely and publicly available to the fullest extent possible in consideration of safety, privacy, and security.
  • With the creation of the CDO position in 2016, several formerly separate divisions were merged to create an integrated data analysis and visualization team. The CDO team is responsible for: data curation, development, data visualization and analysis, and GIS/mapping. The largest of the pre-existing teams was GIS, which had been an area of strong focus for over a decade.

 

RECENT/NOTABLE PROJECTS:

  • Open data policy: The CDO has drafted a Data Policy and is taking public comment on it before finalizing it. It is available on Drafts.DC.gov, a site that allows public comment on a variety of issues and policies in progress. Public comments are visible to all. The policy will not only specify what data is open, but also what data should remain closed. The policy carefully defines terms, and lets the public know what datasets are public, entered into the portal for internal use, or left to be subject to FOIA.
  • Open data portal: The open data portal reaches a wide variety of users inside and outside government. In one example of an unexpected use of the data portal, CDO Barney Krucoff was surprised to find that the local union of pile drivers uses the portal to check for recently-issued permits as a way to predict future work sites. After the head of the union came to see and thank his team, he told Data-Smart, “They made a point of stopping by our office to tell us how much they liked the data, so I thought that was pretty cool; the data is a lead generator for them.”
  • Citywide addressing system: DC has a very successful addressing system, built as a Service Oriented Architecture. The addressing system is the system of record for all business and residential addresses, and is relied upon by the 911 system, so it has to be current and accurate. Within the GIS team, there is a full-time person who is responsible for address integrity and accuracy, the official “address desk” in city hall. Addresses are inherently local data so the city is the authority on what address is real or not. For example, if someone comes to the city for a permit, the address is checked against the addressing system. If it doesn’t look like a valid address, they have to work with the address desk to sort it out.

 

 

BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION OF OPERATIONS:

The position of Chief Data Officer was created by Executive Order, and in January 2016, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced she would hire a Chief Data Officer. In May of 2016 Barney Krucoff was appointed to this leadership role. The leadership of the new CDO position joins existing teams including those responsible for business intelligence, geographic information systems (GIS), and the citywide data warehouse.

For over a decade, the GIS team has worked well with city departments, with a centralized team and GIS specialists in several departments. This community of practice is supported by city training opportunities.  The goal now is to create the same spirit of mutuality in the data analyst teams that has existed for the GIS teams. The data analysis and customer service teams are broken into subject matter areas, such as health, education, etc. D.C. is poised for success in this area, as the citywide data warehouse can facilitate data analytics as well as data sharing across departments. The data curation team manages the citywide data warehouse, as well as all collection, review, storage, and archiving of city data sets. They manage interagency data flows as well as all ETL operations and the open data program.

D.C.’s open data portal is strong on GIS data, in keeping with the historical concentration of the team on GIS work. The city also makes all strategic plans for departments and initiatives available on a single integrated portal, which is arranged thematically and searchable by topic. In addition to a robust open data portal, there is a great deal of open data available about the operations of D.C. government, including GradeDC, a site that aggregates social media feedback on the customer service of city departments, and TrackDC, a performance management dashboard with hundreds of performance metrics on city government operations, including 22 for the Office of the Chief Technology Officer. Among the 35 workload measures is public information for CDO efforts such as creation of department dashboards, GIS users and datasets downloaded, and GIS training access.

 

ADVICE TO A NEW CDO:

  • “Hire, coach, and train creative, motivated staff members and contractors. It is the most important thing you do. The right team solves problems; the wrong team makes problems.”
  • “Strive to increase the velocity of data flow by reducing friction on data flow. Technology, such as open data portals, plays a role. Policies and budgets are often the biggest friction points.”
  • "Offer carrots—you probably don’t have much of a stick anyway. In government transactions, costs are high. The best incentives make it easy and cheap for stakeholders to do the right thing.”
  • “The technology is never as complex or as simple as those selling it want to make it seem.”

ORGANIZATIONAL CHART: 

About the Author

Jane Wiseman

Jane Wiseman is an Innovations in American Government Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. She leads the Institute for Excellence in Government, a non-profit consulting firm dedicated to improving government performance.  She has served as an appointed official in government and as a financial advisor and consultant to government.  Her current consulting, research, and writing focus on government innovation and data-driven decision-making.  She supports an effort to create a national network of urban Chief Data Officers to accelerate the use of analytics in local government.  She has advised the US cities funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies in their Mayors Challenge competition.  She has written on customer-centric government, data-driven decision-making in government, pretrial justice, and 311 for a variety of audiences. 

Her prior consulting work has included organizational strategy, performance management and eGovernment strategy work for Accenture and Price Waterhouse.  Selected clients include the National Governor’s Association, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Criminal Justice Association, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States Postal Service, the State of Michigan, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the United States Department of Commerce. 

Ms. Wiseman has served as Assistant Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and as Assistant to the Director for Strategic Planning, National Institute of Justice, United States Department of Justice.  Ms. Wiseman represented the Justice Department on detail as a Staff Assistant for the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.  Ms. Wiseman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Smith College and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.  

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