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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Clever Examples of an Indirect Measure

February 5, 2014 Analysis

Here are some terrific examples of measuring and visualizing without interfering with existing patterns or operations and without spending much time – and I suspect – without spending any money. Though I’m bicycle-biased, I’m not a transportation policy guy or an urban planner. Yet I’ve always admired those who figure out how to measure any […]

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Not “Discharges” but “Transitions”

January 14, 2014 Health Care

Detroit Medical Center has made a concerted effort to re-structure their discharge process, even to the point of re-naming it. This is worth a read. “Now the word we use is transition, a much more refined process, to get our patients back into their community,” says Suzanne White, MD, the eight-hospital system’s executive vice president […]

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Nursing Home Problems Visualized Nationally

October 18, 2013 Dashboard

John Kelly of USA Today and Emily Le Coz of the Jackson (Miss) Clarion-Ledger on USA Today have done an exemplary job of using the latest in data visualization technology to display and enable interactive exploration of nursing home problems. Take a look here! Note the interactivity. Be sure to look at each of the […]

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Empire Center’s Tool on the NYS Budget

January 25, 2013 Budget

The Empire Center‘s SeeThroughNY has created and put online a new tool for examining New York’s Budget. It features: A nice, clean interface Ability to download the data into Excel files Trendline graphics Popup explanations and definitions of some terms and titles, e.g., the difference between “All Funds” and “State Operating” funds. “Special Features,” which […]

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Opening New York’s Budget

January 24, 2013 Budget

We recently congratulated Governor Cuomo for his promoting data transparency in his State of the State message. Little did we know how quickly his administration was moving to actually take concrete steps to make it so. Yesterday’s Budget showed us not only that his commitment was serious, but that the staff of the State Division […]

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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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Social Media Enhances Another Government Function – Catching Bad Guys

September 28, 2012 Administration

Hey Sheriff. Excuse me officer. Heads up Ms. Publisher/Journalist. Take a look at this Steve Buttry story. We all want our journalism to have impact. Well, here’s impact for you: the Wanted by Police Pinboard launched by the Pottstown Mercury’s Brandie Kessler is resulting in arrests. In a recent Mercury story, Pottstown Police Capt. F. […]

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Integrated Accessible Design

April 19, 2012 Uncategorized

Good design sometimes … often … usually … always … means turning one concept or another upside down. Here’s Ben’s take and photo of a ramp for accessibility. I really admire the design of these stairs and how they incorporate a wheelchair access ramp. in a world were barrier free design is essential to living […]

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