Use the Damn Data

Latest Medicaid Enrollment Data

January 12, 2017 Data

We’ve updated our visualized Medicaid enrollment data. These data run through May of 2016.

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Another Meaning for “Use the Damn Data”

April 7, 2015 Analysis

Ben Wellington, who runs the excellent I Quant New York  did a nice job here unpacking NYC taxi charge data and found that two different systems installed in taxis calculate driver tips differently.  And he estimates the more generous (?) system produces $5.2 million in tips above what the other system provides. Of course, riders have been […]

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That’s my Girl!

November 5, 2013 Data

Halloween postscript. On her own initiative, granddaughter, age 9, surveyed her Halloween loot. Then she categorized it by size and counted the pieces (total 63). I’m so proud.

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Facts? We Don’t Need No Steekin’ Facts

October 16, 2013 Congress

The current craziness in Washington would be bad enough if it were based on actual facts. It isn’t. Nevermind that “austerity” as a policy emphasis is counterproductive while the economy is still sluggish, unemployment remains high, and the economy could be more robust without inflation … despite the political rhetoric and the conventional wisdom from […]

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Making the Public’s Data Public – Cuomo Edition

January 9, 2013 Data

Well, this seems an especially appropriate topic with which to kick off our 2013 posts. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2013 State-of-the-State address’s includes an entire section on using technology to promote “transparency.” Among other things, the Governor has now committed to providing online copies of the State budget in “machine-readable” form. That means you […]

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Keeping Watch for Local Government Fiscal Stress

December 2, 2012 Accounting

New York’s Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli has issued a draft proposal for identifying local governments at risk of fiscal stress. An earlier report touches on local fiscal distress. And here, former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky discusses the earlier Comptroller’s report. It’s a good idea, and given the local governments that have already gotten themselves in trouble the […]

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County on Crack? (Nassau County Debt Variety)

September 7, 2012 County Government

Nassau County, NY is not in financial trouble because of economic decline. It’s among the wealthiest counties in New York. It is in financial trouble because of an lengthy history of bad decision-making and evidently an inability to break its debt habit. Nassau County has a history of borrowing to pay tax refunds. Having been […]

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Rules for Wonks and Hacks

September 6, 2012 Uncategorized

Dredging the archives, we came across Rules for Wonks and Hacks, which I first posted in January, 2005. I was amusing myself while watching the Kabuki drama that is a budget hearing. Wonks and hacks rarely understand one another. The rare wonk who understands the politics or the rare hack who understands the technical will […]

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NY Numbers of the Day

August 23, 2012 County Government

Question: Among counties in New York (excluding New York City and excluding Columbia County, which at the time I pulled the data, had not submitted theirs), from 1998 to 2010, which county had the highest rate of growth in employee benefit expenditures and what was it? Rensselaer County at 375.6 percent. Which had the lowest? […]

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Oh, Maybe You Can Have That Revenue After All … For Now

May 16, 2012 Budget

For the past couple years, Albany County Legislators have been talking about keeping a much larger share of sales tax revenue for their own purposes and reducing the share passed on to cities, towns and villages. Many of those Legislators have such a proprietary sense of it that they call it “our money,” as if […]

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