The Board of Ethics 'cleaned up' its data for this weekend's DemHack hackathon - Technical.ly Philly

Civic

Mar. 18, 2016 8:01 am

The Board of Ethics ‘cleaned up’ its data for this weekend’s DemHack hackathon

A nice example of a city agency working with the civic hacking community.

Swag at DemHack2015.

(Photo by Chris Kendig Photography)

Open data is no good if no one understands it.

That’s what the city’s Board of Ethics learned after releasing campaign finance data for last year’s politics-oriented DemHack hackathon. Barely anyone used it because it was difficult to understand (see a list of the DemHack projects from last year here). Some campaign finance reports appeared to be entered twice or three times, a quirk due to campaign finance reporting rules. Not to mention that campaign contribution limits and reporting deadlines can change year to year.

Shane Creamer, executive director of the Board of Ethics, feels hackers’ pain: “I felt the same way when I first got into this 10 years ago,” he said.

So, acting on feedback from Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski and former city data scientist Stacey Mosley, the Board of Ethics and OIT built a data dictionary for hackers at this year’s DemHack. They hope it provides more context to their data and that it’ll encourage technologists to use it at the hackathon, held this weekend.

“We’re excited about the possibilities,” Creamer told us.

We think it speaks to both OIT and the civic hacking community’s clout that a city agency would make improvements to its data based on feedback from a hackathon. It shows that the agency isn’t just releasing data for open data’s sake and actually cares about whether it’s being put to use.


RSVP for DemHack’s community needs assessment (Friday, March 18 at City Hall) and the hackathon (Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20, at the city’s Innovation Lab).

Shoutout to Code for Philly executive director Dawn McDougall, who recounted this story in her March 6 blog post about DemHack.

Projects: Code for Philly
-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

Advertisement

Read this rundown of Philly’s civic-tech all-stars

Mayor Kenney is Snapchatting again

CS4Philly sets out to meet ‘critical’ goal: getting code in every Philly school

SPONSORED

Philly

Vistar Media’s tech stack is not for the faint-of-heart

Center City, Philadelphia

IntegriChain

Senior Business Analyst

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

IntegriChain

Senior Data Engineer

Apply Now
Chesterbrook, PA

Deacom

Enterprise Software Sales Representative

Apply Now

Controller-elect announces tech-heavy transition team

Rebecca Rhynhart won. Here’s her plan to bring tech into the Controller’s office

Code for America’s time is now

SPONSORED

Philly

Grow your small business with Salesforce at this Jan. 10 event

Philadelphia

Azavea

Software Engineer, Geospatial Insights Team

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Clarivate Analytics

Senior UI Developer

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Clarivate Analytics

Cloud Ops Engineer

Apply Now

Sign-up for regular updates from Technical.ly

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!