By Data-Smart City Solutions • April 26, 2019

Each week we will bring you a summary of what happened this week on our site, on Twitter, and in the wider world of civic data. Suggest stories on Twitter with #ThisWeekInData.

Wall Street Journal: Searching for Answers: Census Case Points to Falling Survey-Response Rates

Survey response rates have been falling in the U.S., worrying policymakers and others who rely on data to study inflation, poverty, and government service delivery. Additionally, Census questions are less likely to be fully completed and more likely to provide inaccurate responses. Privacy concerns are a big issue, as data mining and security breaches cause citizens to be less willing to share their information.

StateScoop: Why State CIOs Should Embrace the 'Power of Purpose'  

In this article Chris Estes, the former CIO of North Carolina, gives advice for new CIOs on how be truly mission-driven within the state government framework. He maintains that state government departments that collaborate around a bigger idea can be more innovative and find new ways to deliver better services and cost savings. Building a citizen-focused workforce helps government employees move beyond silos and improve their output for the benefit of state residents.


WIRED: LA’s Plan To Reboot Its Bus System—Using Cell Phone Data

LA wants to combat congestion and greenhouse gases by encouraging bus transit, but over the past decade ridership is down 36 percent. Although it might seem like LA is a city built for cars, it was home to one of the most extensive rail systems in the early 20th century. Buses have the capacity to fill in gaps from existing railways and to provide a greener (and cheaper) means of transportation than cars. In order to renovate the current bus system, the LA Metro team is working with Cambridge Systematics to map resident movement through cell phone location data. This shows how the (anonymous) residents move around the city, and what areas or times will need better or more buses in the new system.

NextGov: Moving from Random Acts of Digital to Real Transformation

This article gives advice from Deloitte’s new report “A Government Perspective: Tech Trends 2019”. Researchers found “nine technology forces” that are the main aspects of innovation, namely “cloud, analytics, digital experience, blockchain, cognitive, digital reality, core modernization, cyber and the running IT like a business.” Unfortunately many government tech projects are in isolation; the real transformative work is intersectional.


Fast Company: The Latest Giant to Design its Own Font? The US Government

The federal government just released U.S. Web Design System 2.0, a library of updated code and design standards, including a new font called Public Sans. Having these standards means that moving forward, all federal government websites will have a “common visual language”, but it also means that the federal government will no longer be relying on open-source fonts created by third-party companies, like Google’s Roboto font.


StreetsBlog Chicago: Emanuel: Chicago Is Now the First U.S. City to Publish Detailed Ride-Hailing Data

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Chicago will be releasing anonymized data from ridesharing apps on the city’s open data portal. This makes them the first city in the country to release this data. Ridesharing is now a significant aspect of urban transportation, and having this data available alongside other types of transit data means that the public and policymakers will have a more comprehensive view of mobility in Chicago.