Data Solutions for the Modern Metropolis

At Datapolitan, we bring imagination and experience to the unique challenges of working with data. From problem scoping, to data cleaning, to analysis and visualization, we model a practice of open engagement and sharing in advance techniques. We're pioneering techniques of design-thinking and solution co-creation for partners of all skill levels and experience to empower decision makers with actionable insights.

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What We Do

Datapolitan provides a range of services to clients in three key areas, technical training, project work, and strategy consulting. In each of these three areas, Datapolitan is a leader in developing new techniques to engage the workforce of today and tomorrow with innovative approaches. We're one of the few organizations teaching critical thinking and data literacy with open data to civil servants, helping build a workforce able to comprehend and use the vast streams of data already starting to flow into government agencies. With our project work, we're introducing open-source technologies to government, helping agencies conserve valuable financial resources and leverage broad communities of committed developers. In our strategy consulting, we're helping agencies develop the critical understanding of how data can be leverage to meet their operational needs, developing awareness of critical issues, and facilitating a broad understanding of the value data holds for leading organizations to success.


How We Do It

Data analytics is a team sport that is best done in the company of people who offer a range of talents, training, perspectives, and experience. Using a design thinking approach, we collaboratively engage with our clients to develop creative strategies to important problems, defining clear opportunties for success through critical awareness of the various issues and concerns.


Introductory Course in Data Analytics for New York City Parks Employees

Working with the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, Datapolitan developed and conducted a training in the fundamentals of data analytics and the process of data-informed decision-making for 18 employees. This was based on Datapolitan’s highly successful data analytics training program with City of New York employees and intended to help NYC Parks employees better leverage data and technology for operational success. The class materials were customized to include datasets from NYC Parks and software readily available to NYC Parks employees. The course outline and content was based on interviews with NYC Parks employees to ensure the training was relevant to the day-to-day work of NYC Parks analysts.

Working with the City of Lancaster, CA to Better Leverage Data to Improve Quality of Life

In partnership with TigerSwan, Datapolitan is working to bring greater awareness of how data can be used to drive decision-making in the City of Lancaster, CA in order to improve the quality of life for the 160,000+ residents living in this city north of Los Angeles. This includes data gathering, analysis, mockups, and training to enhance the capacity of city employees to collect, interpret, and communicate insights to those who need it.

Empowering NYU Tandon Online with Strategies to Measure Quality in Online Learning

To better enable the NYU Tandon Online staff in this task, Datapolitan developed and led a series of sessions to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in creating a high-quality learning experience for content creators and learners. Taking as fundamental that online learning is both a platform for learners and content creators to come together, as well as a process for the creation and dissemination of content, these sessions looked at both the technical and the social aspects of the work NYU Tandon Online staff perform as a means to achieving success. Taking as a given that quality is in the eye of the beholder, these sessions started by understanding what’s important to users. Leveraging proven techniques in design thinking and user-centered design, these sessions creatively engaged all participants with the ultimate goal of developing key insights into what users value and connecting them to concrete actionable outcomes to measure and improve value to these users.

Courses in Data Analytics for City Employees

Through a collaboration with the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services, we have created a very popular series of classes covering a range of topics in data analytics, statistical analysis, information visualization, and mapping. Consistent with our philosophy of openness, you can find the course outlines for the four (4) full day courses in data analytics and one (1) half-day course in Open Data. Read the blogpost and see the course outlines. Additionally, we've created a series of classes in spatial analysis with open-source tools. The class outlines and lecture materials for the introductory course and intermediate course are available online.

Partnering with the Center for Government Excellence

Datapolitan is working with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Government Excellence to help bring advanced techniques of data analysis, machine learning, and predictive analytics to mid-sized cities as part of the What Works Cities Initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies. Working with both the talented GovEx staff and the many excellent partner cities across the country, Datapolitan is also helping develop training programs to make the great data work reproducible and sustainable.

Pratt Institute Course in Acquiring, Cleaning, Analyzing, and Visualizing Open Data

A popular course developed by Richard Dunks to share his knowledge of acquiring, cleaning, analyzing and visualizing data on the web. The course is offered through the Pratt Institute Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative (SAVI) Mining the Web course. You can find the materials online here.

Redesigning the MTA Subway Station Status Map from the Citizens Budget Commission

Using data provided by the MTA on the status of New York City Transit subway stations and originally visualized using Tableau Public by the Citizens Budget Commission, I created a new interactive map using CartoDB and JavaScript. See the original visualization by the Citizens Budget Commission. Read my blogpost on the work.

Mapping the Use of New York City Transit by Commuters

Using data from the 2009-2013 US Bureau of the Census American Community Survey, I created a map of the subway usage by census tract in New York city along with the subway lines. I did the same for bus and automobile commuters. Read the blogpost.

NYC Department of Education Ed-tech Portal

Working with the New York City Department of Education Office of Innovation, we designed and led a user research session testing the key pieces of information educators and administrators need when evaluating and purchasing educational technology (edtech) products, providing wireframes for a portal to display this information in a visually engaging interface.

NYU Rudin Center Job Access

In cooperation with the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management and linepointpath, we visualized the availability of jobs to those living around New York City via public transportation. See the visualization and read the report.

Universal Prekindergarten Seat Optimization

Predicting shortages in New York City's prekindergarten seat capacity and optimizing where new seats should be located to meet demand. Download the working paper.

Visualizing a Smart Street in Lower Manhattan

As part of the NYC BigApps Challenge, visualize sensor data collected along the Water Street Corridor to provide real-time intelligence in an urban area with Corridorscope.