Introduction

Public Data At Work

Behind every data point on nyc.gov/data is a story of New York City government in action. Every City employee uses data in their work. Data keeps the City accountable to New Yorkers, marking progress on important efforts such as filling reported potholes and creating affordable housing. Data is used in real time to respond to rapidly changing circumstances, such as deciding where to send plows during a snowstorm or what streets to shut down during emergencies. Data is also used over the course of months and years to address systemic problems, such as preparing for rising sea levels. Large datasets can communicate important information, such as the results of civil service exams and which taxi drivers can be on the road at any time. Finally, data helps optimize limited City resources, through advanced analytics on various agency datasets that can help guide decisions like where to send building inspectors and how to fund critical programs. In this way, data stretches every taxpayer dollar even further. The City’s commitment to Open Data for All means open data for people from all walks of life, from all five boroughs, who are using open data to make a difference in their communities—including educators, students, artists, builders, small business owners, advocates, reporters, community board members. It also means open data for the 300,000 hardworking men and women who make New York City safer, cleaner, and more equitable.

This report shows how information created by the City powers operational excellence both within the four walls of City Hall and outside of them. It provides updates on the City’s work to make Open Data for All a reality, highlighting initiatives undertaken by the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA), the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), and Open Data Coordinators within City agencies to ensure that high-quality data gets into the hands of change makers from Port Richmond to Washington Heights. This report also features stories of specific datasets published by some of the 90 City agencies and offices. These stories detail how a single data point is identified, collected, analyzed, and used to make decisions. As the amount of data maintained by City agencies increases—over 400 new datasets were identified for publication in this year’s schedule for future dataset releases—open data serves as a practical and efficient way to share facts at the scale of the City operations they represent.

The following seven stories highlight a few of the many ways in which public data powers the work carried out by New York City agencies every day—to keep your government running at the pace of the New Yorkers it serves.

Want to start exploring for yourself? Dive into the 17 datasets behind these stories at bit.ly/NYCDataAtWork.