(Photo by Flickr user Michael Righi, used under a Creative Commons license)
In the last three weeks, the dataset containing city employee salaries was downloaded nearly 7,500 times.
That makes it far and away the most downloaded dataset in the last 10 months, according to city data provided to the Wall Street Journal. No. 2 was crime data with 2,771 downloads and No. 3 was property assessments with 1,419 downloads. Property tax balances came in No. 5.
We’ll note two things:
- The employee salary data (and property tax balance data) were both new releases, published in the last four months, which could add to their popularity. The Kenney administration published employee salary data earlier this month, while the Nutter administration published property tax balance data just days before Nutter left office.
- Downloading a dataset is different from accessing the data through an app. So, this data doesn’t account for people using the city’s property app, a more user-friendly way of looking at the property assessment data, or the crime map on the the Police Department website, built by civic technologist Dave Walk.
Still, there’s no question that people are incredibly interested in employee salary data and that it’s a big deal that the Kenney administration managed to released it.
What’s the next high-profile dataset Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski is working to release? Expenditures. He told the Wall Street Journal that it’s been taking a while because of all the sensitive information in it — things like credit card numbers and witness information.
What’s really exciting is the culture that open data is bringing to government. For a government agency to put data out there on the Web and say, “Here, have at it, do what you want with it,” and then be interested in what happens with it and what people do with it, this is a mind-set that leads to a more open government and enables government to adopt the innovations of the public.
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