nycTWG’s letter to de Blasio on technology and transition
We write today to draw your attention to the historic opportunity the de Blasio administration has to harness the explosion in everyday Internet and mobile technology. This new technology can help the average New Yorker get the greatest benefit from their city government, and help your administration better marshall the city’s resources to serve the public.
As a candidate for mayor, Bill de Blasio told technologists:
“I believe there should be a top-level position that oversees technology and innovation at a citywide level, across agencies. Titles can be sorted out post-election.”
We agree. There is a clear need for the de Blasio administration to do what large businesses and the federal government do, which is to effectively coordinate across agencies, to ensure that all agencies use the best practices in technology, procurement, and digital content management. Managing technology across all agencies is beyond the capacity and authority of a shared service agency like DOITT, and far exceeds the existing authority and responsibility of NYC Digital.
Our groups strongly support New York City’s open data law, and have seen how powerful it is to use technology for data analytics and performance management, both at City Hall and within agencies. The de Blasio administration should build on this by doing even more with data analytics, and by getting the greatest value from expensive data collection and analysis by making that information publicly available and usable. Pulling together the city’s disparate digital information and technology is a big challenge, but it is the operational underpinning of many of your policy goals.
We wish you good luck as you search for the next generation of technology and innovation leaders, and appreciate your consideration of our views.
Chris M Whong, BetaNYC’s co-Captian, visualized the 1100+ open datasets made available by New York City. This is a force-directed graph generated with the charting library d3.js. NYC’s open data portal runs on the Socrata platform*, and this visualization was created using the “dataset of datasets” and the Socrata Open Data API (SODA).
Chris writes “Why? The point is to show the scale of the portal, and to illustrate which datasets have user-created views. In the future, it would be great to dynamically size the circles by the popularity of the datasets.”
* Chris is employed by Socrata
** GitHub Link