Linking Student Analysts and Nonprofits

Linking Student Analysts and Nonprofits

 

Linking Student Analysts and Nonprofits

 

The Challenge

When recently graduated students told us that it was difficult to land data analysis jobs without experience, we realized there was an opportunity to simultaneously give students experience and aid local nonprofits with answering data questions.

The Solution

In spring of 2015, operating as the San Diego Regional Data Library, we ran a data contest with a student group at SDSU. The week long event gave 30 student teams valuable experience and produced a broad range of data insights for the San Diego Food Systems Alliance and the Monarch School.

Plotting San Diego Streetlights

Plotting San Diego Streetlights

Plotting San Diego Street Lights

 The Challenge

After writing a series of stories about San Diego city infrastructure, Voice of San Diego reporter Liam Dillon turned his attention to street lamps. Although the city published GIS data for the locations of street lamps, Liam wanted to understand how the number of lamps varied by community.

 

The Solution

Working through our non profit project, the San Diego Regional Data Library, we computed small-area areal densities of street lamps and aggregated the densities by San Diego community, allowing Liam to tell a compelling story about where San Diegans are in the dark

( Photo: Visualization created by Voice of San Diego from map image provided by The San Diego Regional Data Library. )

Crime Vizualizations

Crime Vizualizations

Crime Visualizations and Public Record Requests

The Problem

San Diego area residents had an impoverished view of crime in their city; the official crime maps only showed a few weeks of incidents, and the local statistics covered entire neighborhoods, neglecting to consider the difference in time of day or commercial crime versus residential crime. Worse, the data that could answer these questions were not available, and the agency that controlled the data responded to requests either with refusals or quotes of very high fees.

 

 The Solution

Over the course of six months and 50 emails, we negotiated with the agency that held the crime data, eventually getting 6 years of data for a fee of $134. Then, working though our non profit project, the San Diego Regional Data Library, we led volunteers in visualization projects to produce time series and heat maps, allowing citizens to understand how crime incidents vary with time of day and fine grained locations. Then, we posted the datasets and visualizations publically as a resource for many subsequent local and national research projects.

HMDA Summary Reports

HMDA Summary Reports

 

HMDA Summary Reports

 

The Challenge

The San Diego Housing Commission reviews data reports from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to ensure that San Diego area lenders are following the law. When they wanted to reduce costs of processing the data into summary reports, they turned to Civic Knowledge for help.

 The Solution

Because we had already loaded HMDA data into our data warehouse, we could quickly produce the required reports,  and because all of the work was done using Python and IPython notebook, the reports will be repeatable in future years, for an even lower cost.

Health Data +

Health Data +

HealthData+

The Challenge

As part of it’s “Free The Data” program, the California Health Care Foundation sponsors projects to make health data more available, including the HealthData+ project, which gives county health departments a platform for telling data-based stories. Although a commercial tool, LiveStories, could handle the story telling component, the system still required dataset that were specific to the wide range of stories its users would write.

The Solution

The California Health Care Foundation hired Civic Knowledge for both its data wrangling services, but also for its expertise in locating the best datasets for any story. Over the course of the 2 year project, we provided hundreds of indicators for the HealthData+ library.