DigitalC releases the Civic Insights Hub

DigitalC releases the Civic Insights Hub, an open data and analytics site for community good

Have you ever wanted to analyze the performance of your local school? Would you like to know the quality of your water? Do you want to know the economic trends in your neighborhood? These questions, and many others from your daily and work life can be answered with data. Data that is free and available to the public, also called open data.

Open data is a hot topic in many industries today. Governments and other publicly focused agencies are moving to put open data online as a means of being transparent, and  for decades companies have been increasingly directed to be more open about their financial operations.  DigitalC is getting into the game as well, launching the Civic Insights Hub for community-wide access to data that can be used to improve our lives.  The Hub will accelerate access to a wide range of data sources by bringing them together in one place, and providing basic tools to make discoveries actionable. And it’s free for you to use.

More that just a place to put your data

The Civic Insights Hub lets you access a library of open data - over 300 files from 9 source organizations to start, and growing. More than just a data repository, the Hub is designed for you to access, select and analyze data for your projects to make your life, your job, and your community better.

DigitalC is also using data science to analyze the data on our site to create stories that are meaningful to the community. Take a look at the results, or insights, as we like to call them, and  use them to further your own projects or expand upon our findings.

One example of our use of  data science is where we  examine the economic and social challenges and opportunities faced by cities like Cleveland that are built on an inherited asset base (or manufacturing base) and are working to transition to an economy driven by technology.  There are over 25 of these so called “Legacy Cities” like Cleveland around the US.  We have begun to identify and analyze relevant characteristics, and as we apply more data science to evaluating where past and current initiatives have succeeded in rejuvenating these economies, we hope to inform policy makers about actions that can help overcome these challenges. Read more about legacy cities here.

In partnership with OpenCleveland, a Code for America organization, DigitalC dug into transportation concerns. We mapped out and analyzed the perceived transportation deserts in Cleveland attributed to RTA service cuts and the perceived negative impact on neighborhood access.  We analyzed locations and calculated the walking time between each of 20,000 points in the city to the closest bus stop and created a HeatMap to display the bus stops in Cleveland. The findings were interesting and maybe not what some expected.  While there are areas that could benefit from more stops to reduce walking times, overall the map shows the RTA stations are well distributed across Cleveland.  In other words, there are very few transportation deserts. This is good news for the economics of Cleveland residents and the region, but we won't stop there.   We plan to take the analysis to the next level and compare this map to where jobs are located.  Read more about our findings here.

Open to everyone

 

We made the Hub open to everyone. In fact, we are asking you - our citizens, our public and commercial organizations, and educators - to help improve the usefulness of the Hub to the community.

We welcome you to

  • Suggest datasets for us to acquire.

  • Apply your insights to the data that we have.

  • Share your success.

  • Tell us what you want to accomplish with data, and let us help you achieve it.

Whether you are a citizen, a data professional, a developer, a journalist, or an educator you can explore the raw data from our library of datasets, analyze it with our mapping and graphing tools, and then apply your results to improve community issues.

If your job is to convince companies to locate to our region, or you are on a team working hard to provide social programs to the needy, or simply a citizen who wants to find ways to contribute to the vitality and progress of your community, the Hub has access to information and tools to help you make better decisions for these issues and more.

So join us on the Hub. Bring your passion and issues around key social, economic, and environmental topics. Let’s stimulate innovative thinking and develop data-driven solutions that benefit us all.