Not the time for standards in Open Data, yet

It seems with the rise of a new technology, it soon follows on the discussion on how to standardize it. This is true for open data and the call for standards of key data sets where data on a particular topic would share the same schema across cities, states, counties, and countries. The promise is […]

Felton Annual Report — A Eulogy

I received the last Annual Report by Nicholas Felton. It is his 10th report in a series that began with a thin volume in 2005. I hesitate to say that I’ve “finally” received the report because I was not anticipating the conclusion of the series in any way. Instead, I had always looked forward to these […]

Big Data and Big Cities

Naturally, a paper titled Big Data and Big Cities: The Promise and Limitations of Improved Measures of Urban Life piqued my interest. From the discussion, of “big data” four V’s, Glaeser et al. focused on large volumes of data. The paper discussed two types of big data: while researchers typically used aggregated data, such as totals by ZIP codes […]

What to post on open data portals? Let me Google, er, Bing that for you.

Quick wins. An entire post–nay, novel–could be written about the life of quick wins. For data portals, quick wins are important. I’ve talked to a number of cities who have a fresh data portal and they wonder what should be posted first so they can get the quick wins needed to prove the data portal adds […]

Open data as consumer protection

Open data has a number of uses: transparency, economic development, galvanizing technology, and also consumer protection. A recent experience crystalized this fact. Super Bowl 49 was a messy day in Chicago. By the time the game ended, 16″ of snow had accumulated on the ground, and would still fall throughout the night. A hard, gusty wind […]

Tools are not to blame, blame laziness

PowerPoint and Excel aren’t the enemy, though a lot of people to seem to think they are. Frequently, I hear others say “don’t use PowerPoint” or snicker when someone mentions conducting analysis with Excel. This is wrong. There is nothing wrong with Excel or PowerPoint; I am a fan and user of both programs. The problem […]

Data portals are tomorrow’s map room

I’ve often found myself exploring a library’s map room or thumbing through old Census records while taking study breaks. I was often surprised how I could become engrossed with old data. Some of the fascination comes from a historical narrative of history from the perspective of that generations point-of-view, even if it was based on faulty logic […]

CDO as business development: Some notes from experience

Luke Fretwell posted an interesting article on the role CDO has as a business development officer: If I was a Chief Data Officer [...] I would also proactively reach out to these companies to find out what data they’re interested in that government might be able to provide. This could help determine data release schedule/priority […]

Is it really so bad?

Stephen Few seems to be upset. In his yearly review, he touches on what sees as a year without any progress: Since the advent of the computer (and before that the printing press, and before that writing, and before that language), data has always been BIG, and Data Science has existed at least since the […]

Feedback on FCC Net Neutrality

Over at Data Nouveau, a highlight of the Sunlight Foundation’s recent analysis and visualization of feedback on over 800,000 comments on the proposed net neutrality rules.