Help a policymaker out: Baltimore Data Day is almost here - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jul. 19, 2016 12:59 pm

Help a policymaker out: Baltimore Data Day is almost here

The annual event goes down July 22 this year — amid some fresh energy around data at City Hall.
Justin Elszasz, the data scientist behind the blog The Training Set, presents at Baltimore Data Day 2015.

Justin Elszasz, the data scientist behind the blog The Training Set, presents at Baltimore Data Day 2015.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Baltimore is recognized as a pioneer in civic data, but staying on top of the “Stats” takes continued work. With changes at CitiStat, a new mayor coming in and the city’s selection for a Bloomberg-backed data initiative that spans the country, there’s energy forming behind a new push.

It’s against that backdrop that this year’s Baltimore Data Day will play out. The free event takes place on Friday, July 22 at the University of Baltimore.

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Organized by the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance, the daylong workshop gets government officials, wonks and devs together to dig into the use of numbers across community life.

Talks run all day, and reflect the expanding tent of civic data that was already evident with moves like the inclusion of cultural data in BNIA’s annual Vital Signs report.

Here are a few talks from the full agenda that stand out:

  • To open the day, City Councilman Brandon Scott and Baltimore CTO Jerome Mullen will discuss open data. Scott recently sponsored a bill that solidifies the city’s open data efforts beyond the Rawlings-Blake Administration.
  • Beyond making the data available, how it’s used is another key topic area. A morning session will feature University of Baltimore and Central Maryland Transportation Alliance experts discussing how open data can be used to understand the structural divides in Baltimore that are so often at the root of efforts to create change.
  • Stingrays aside, the Baltimore Police Department is in a period of transition toward implementing technology. The department just recently got a document management system. An afternoon workshop features a cross-section of speakers from the police, city health department and Johns Hopkins on public-safety data.

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