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Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium

Data Innovation Initiative

Innovative Use of Big Data and Analytics

City of Norfolk
Pamela Marino, Management Services Administrator

Norfolk's leadership understood that the city needed to do a better job of managing its data. There was a need to: catalogue datasets kept in departments across the city, train staff on the parameters of good data governance, improve data analytics processes to make better data-driven decisions and improve the usability and transparency of data. Basically, we needed to create a Data Innovation Initiative.

Primary goals:

  • Improve data driven decision making
  • Improve data quality
  • Increase transparency and access to public information and reduce public information requests
  • Enhance coordination, efficiency and internal data sharing among staff
  • Provide access to city data for residents, businesses and educational institutions to create new applications and promote new business ideas

To meet the strategic and technical goals of this initiative, we: hired a data scientist and formed a cross-departmental interdisciplinary team to implement the program; trained staff on data analytics tools (such as the open data portal, PowerBI and ESRI); and looked to external partners such as What Works Cities and the Sunlight Foundation for expert input. These combined efforts allowed us to meet our goals and begin changing the data culture in the city of Norfolk.

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