City of New Orleans
2018 Annual Data Report
As mandated in Policy Memo No. 135
Progress toward goals
We have used the goals outlined below to guide our work since the first release of City of New Orleans open data in 2012. Since the data policy became official in 2017, the Enterprise Information team has focused on a number of initiatives that continue to prioritize the goals outlined in the Data Policy. These are:
Data Inventory: This year the Enterprise Information team has prioritized working with departments to visualize and use their data to make decisions and hosted our first training for this body of work in December 2018. We have also continued to inventory and document the data systems they use and datasets they manage and maintain. This project helps City Hall staff to understand the importance of maintaining and publishing high-quality, timely datasets through our open data portal at data.nola.gov. It has also allowed us to appropriately categorize and score data for future release as well as encouraging internal and external stakeholders to weigh in on high-value data releases that will foster innovative uses of the city's data. Throughout 2018, we have:
- Continually updated the data inventory resources and continued publishing of inventories;
- Held three large trainings related to data and public information;
- Coordinated with new staff to identify data coordinators and identified Phase Two of department inventories;
- Federated our open data catalog with our GIS data and The Data Center's data, providing a one-stop for public datasets;
- Held dozens of one-on-one meetings with Data Coordinators to brainstorm and identify "City" datasets; and
- Codified the process to publish each department's inventory.
Currently, we have completed 16 of 57 participating departmental inventories and have another 15 in progress or training. We are proud that over half of participating departments have started down the data inventory road!
As of 12/31/2018
Number of Departments: 57
Trained Departments: 35
Inventories Complete: 16
Inventories In-Progress: 4
Cataloging and releasing high-value datasets: In June 2016, the City launched an online public records request system. Since we make the requests open data, we've been able to identify and prioritize releasing datasets that are being asked for by the public. By combining this information with dataset suggestions from our open data portal and internal requests from co-workers, we are working to make sure the data we make available is useful and timely. We have also:
- Created and implemented a process to release "request-driven" datasets
- Worked closely with GIS to codify spatial data release processes and federate the GIS catalog
Data visualization and reporting: Making data available to departments and the public is a big step in creating a smarter city, but it is only a first step. Without tools to understand the data, decisions can’t be made based on the data. The Enterprise Information team has long supported departments by providing reports from their systems, but now we have embarked on a program of building the capacity of departments to perform their own analyses and develop real-time dashboards for decision-making. To do this, we have:
- Created a Data Working Group to allow departments to share their successes and challenges with data analysis and visualization
- Procured Microsoft Power BI and trained the first wave of analysts inside City Hall
Did you know?
- The first City open dataset published to our portal was Curb Lines. It was published on Aug. 26, 2011.
- Since then, we've published over 200 additional datasets.
- Eighteen of these datasets are high-value police data, the most popular of which has been viewed over 43,000 times!
Data Policy Goals
The City will develop and implement practices that allow it to:
- Maintain high quality, timely data with documentation (metadata) and permanence to encourage maximum use;
- Proactively release publishable City data, making it freely available in open formats, with no restrictions on use or reuse, and fully accessible to the broadest range of users to use for varying purposes;
- Establish and maintain an open data web portal that provides a central location for published City data;
- Minimize limitations on the disclosure of public information while appropriately safeguarding protected and sensitive information; and
- Encourage innovative uses of the City’s publishable data by agencies, the public, and other partners.
Full policy text here: https://nola.gov/chief-administrative-office/policies/policies/no-135-data-policy/
Microsoft Power BI training, December 2018.
Data Initiative Implementation Progress
The data policy outlines nine specific objectives related to implementation. Below are those objectives and our progress toward implementing them. It is important to note that in 2018, the data team weathered a number of challenges, including staff transitions and a new Mayor and CAO. These issues have affected the quantity of data inventories we have been able to release, but not the quality.
Identify Data Coordinators
Of the 57 participating departments, a little over 50% have a named Data Coordinator. We lost many coordinators due to staff transition with the election of the new Mayor.
Establish intergovernmental approach to grow/maintain GIS resources
The Enterprise GIS team (eGIS) continued to collaborate and support several projects across various city departments in 2018. We installed ESRI’s new Portal environment, which is now in the testing phase as part of the upgrade plan. eGIS continued to also provide support and enhancement to NOPD’s MAX data sharing and map services for use internally and externally.
In addition, we launched the Vieux Carré Viewer showcasing over 30,000 historical photos, which were tied to digitized building footprints in the French Quarter. eGIS also created a simple mobile application for Safety & Permits inspectors to assess disaster-related damages on private and public property and worked with Parks & Parkways by hosting and visualizing tree data collected in two pilot regions (zip codes 70122, 70115). The team also heavily supported Public Works, the Health department, and Mosquito and Rodent Control Board. This past year also saw the formation of a multi-agency GIS Steering committee to begin collaborating on data standards, best practices, better communication etc. related to GIS in Orleans Parish.
Oversee creation of a data inventory and publish it to the Open Data Portal
The up-to-date City Data Inventory, hosted on data.nola.gov, is available below, sorted alphabetically by Department.
Implement a process to prioritize the release of data based on public interest, City programming and cost
Before publishing any dataset or inventory, the data is scored based on the following criteria:
- Data quality (completeness, accuracy, etc.)
- Value to citizens (level of public interest, increases accountability, etc.)
- Cost (cost to produce, cost to maintain)
Establish process to publish data
Each dataset we publish must have a data steward who we can rely on for regular check ins and data updates (if manually updated). The first 2 steps are those that the data champion (person requesting the data release) is responsible for. The last three are things that the Enterprise Information team will facilitate/manage.
Step 1: Fill out the inventory questionnaire here - https://goo.gl/forms/lHfxDffpGjkHJn4G3
Step 2: Score the dataset here - http://datadriven.nola.gov/training/submit-score-card/
Step 3: Meet with data steward or coordinator to set up connection to data or schedule regular updates.
Step 4: Insert metadata into the Approval Form and send for signatures/official approval. (If the dataset is an inventory, we send for final comments within 7 days. If no feedback from department, we continue to Step 5.)
Step 5: PUBLISH and MAINTAIN
Timeline for new dataset publication
In practice, we have not had to schedule data publication as we publish as soon as possible with approvals and set-up. As we move through the process, we aim to publish new datasets when resources are available, data receives an acceptable open data score, and is approved by the appropriate authority.
Ensure published data is available for download or via API
We are able to use our open data platform at data.nola.gov (powered by Socrata) to provide data for bulk download, API and other types of connection/use.
Encourage public participation through regular feedback and collaboration
The Enterprise Information team engages with the public through a variety of mediums, including fielding data questions and suggestions through data.nola.gov, guiding the local Code for America brigade and participating in affinity groups and neighborhood meetings as our schedules allow. As this project grows, our team envisions creating a Community Data University to help bridge the ever-increasing "digital divide" in our communities.