What is it?
Earlier this year, the newly-created Innovation & Performance reorganized its work around three service offerings for the City of Seattle:
- Results driven management: defining, monitoring and acting upon measures of performance
- Service innovation: redesigning services and processes for greater impact
- Data analytics: using data to solve problems and work smarter
Of these, Data Analytics represents our newest offering; albeit a natural extension of the work done in the previous Performance and Innovation teams. But what is it? We define it as follows:
Put simply: analysis informing action. We are flexible in the tools that we use – from long division to machine learning – but inflexible in wanting to see positive change as a result of our work.
In pursuing this offering we have taken inspiration from cities across the country who have developed Data Analytics programs. These specialist units do not seek to replace data teams within City departments, but rather to augment and empower them on specific projects. Our position within the Mayor’s Office allows us to support emerging priority issues wherever they may be and hone our ability to deliver by bringing insights from across policy areas.
What types of projects do we pursue?
Building upon work done in New Orleans, in which I may have had a small hand, we source projects in Seattle using a framework that seeks to bridge the gap between data science and service innovation. We explore potential projects with reference to the change that we want to see, not the data tool that we will use.
We are working on a number of exciting data-driven projects for the City. Over the coming months we will share examples of our projects and the impact that they will have on improving services for those who live in, work in and visit Seattle. We are excited to share these with you!