qCelebrating 5 years of serving our residents in the City of BostonAs we celebrate 5 years of the Citywide Analytics Team, we have compiled our majorprojects over the years as an effort to make it easier to understand how we support theCity of Boston through data initiatives.This report also highlights our plans for the future of data in the City of Boston. As webegin a new decade, you can count on us to make data driven decisions that will continueto help our City flourish.“We created Boston’s Analytics Team in 2015, and in fiveeventful years, the team has helped make data drivendecisions that positively impact residents in the City ofBoston,” said Mayor Walsh. “We use data, processimprovement, and technology to make life better foreveryone who lives and works in our city.”- Mayor Martin J. WalshWHAT DO WE DO?The Citywide Analytics Team is the central data organization for the City of Boston. We usedata, process improvement, and technology to make life better for everyone who lives andworks in Boston. Mayor Walsh created our team in 2015 with the goal of developinginnovative programs and improving performance across all parts of City government.Previous Year in Reviews:2018 YIR 2 017 YIR 2 016 YIR 2 015 YIR1

ANALYTICS BY THE NUMBERSWe’ve completed141 PROJECTSsince 2015You can find158 DATA SETSon Analyze BostonAnalytics data warehouse currently has330GB o f data from31 DEPARTMENTSWe deployed lots of code to production,412 CODE REVIEWS in 2019Worked withOVER 80%of city departments in 201932 s ummer, semester, and year-long fellowsThere are89 PIPELINESrunning regularly in the Analytics data warehouse14 team members!* (see end of report)31 story maps2

How does ourwork relate to:STREETS1. VISION ZERO (2016-2019)Vision Zero Boston is the City of Boston’scommitment to focus the city’s resources onproven strategies to eliminate fatal andserious traffic crashes in the city by 2030. Weare inspired by the belief that even onefatality is too many.Our team coordinated with multiple citydepartments to establish an automatedprocess for sharing crash and fatality data.This dataset, provided as part of the VisionZero Boston program, contains records of thedate, time, location, and type of crash forincidents requiring public safety responsewhich may involve injuries or fatalities. Allrecords are compiled by the Analytics Teamfrom the City's Computer-Aided Dispatch (911)system and verified as having required aresponse from a public safety agency.Additionally, using open-source geospatialsoftware, the team worked to ensure that datapoints were being accurately placed in themiddle of the appropriate street segment,rather than in the middle of city blocks.Vision Zero crash and fatality map. “The Analytics Team hasprovided extensive support to theStreets cabinet. From helping ustrack and manage fieldoperations, to analyzing theimpact of Go Boston 2030projects, effective use of data isan important part of managingBoston’s streets.”- Chris Osgood, Chief of Streets,Transportation & SanitationWorking closely with our Transportation andPublic Safety departments, the AnalyticsTeam developed reports, publically availabledashboards and data as well as a map thatconstituents can use to report traffic safetyconcerns to the city.Crash data dashboard3

2. STREETCASTER (2016)Partnered with the Public Works Departmentto develop a “priority sidewalk network” thatallowed the department to assign priority tosidewalk reconstruction as part of their effortto bring equity to street repairs in the City ofBoston. This network has informed PublicWorks’ capital reconstruction program since2018.3. TRANSPORTATION PILOT PROJECTEVALUATIONS (2015-2019)Assisted the Boston TransportationDepartment and the Mayor's Office of NewUrban Mechanics with data collection andanalysis for a number of pilot projectsdesigned to help ease congestion and/orimprove safety, including evaluating theeffectiveness of performance parking in theBack Bay and Seaport, a dedicated bus lane inRoslindale, and designated pick-up/drop-offcurb space near Fenway Park.5. PARKING ENFORCEMENT OFFICERSHIFT ANALYSIS (2019)Worked with the Boston TransportationDepartment to evaluate the complex ParkingEnforcement Officer shift structure, andmade recommendations to improve efficiencyand citywide shift coverage.6. CONSOLIDATED STREET CENTERLINEDATA (2019)Reconciled and merged the city’s threeseparate street layer files into a singlecenterline, making it possible for departmentsto share information about what is happeningon our streets.7. DESIGN PILOT EVALUATION (2019)4. MBTA BUS HEATMAP TOOL (2019)Using the MBTA’s publically available real timebus location data, we built a tool that allowsBoston Transportation Department plannersto visualize bus route performance acrossdifferent routes and key city corridors.MBTA bus heatmapWorked with the Public Works Departmentand the Digital Team to evaluate theeffectiveness of a ticket envelope redesign forCode Violations in increasing payment ratesand ensuring constituents are aware of theiroptions.4

How does ourwork relate to:HOUSING1. IMPLEMENTING THE CITY’S SHORTTERM RENTAL ORDINANCE (2019)In 2018, the Boston City Council passed anordinance establishing new guidelines andregulations for short-term rentals in Boston,with the goal of preserving housing whileallowing Bostonians to benefit from this newindustry.Enforcing this ordinance required creating,from scratch, a dataset that outlines theeligibility of every residential housing unit inthe city, building dashboards to track theprogress of the registration process,providing ISD with the data needed forenforcement efforts, and negotiating adata-sharing agreement with AirBNB.Creating the new dataset required adeep-dive into different addressing andproperty ownership data sources, workingclosely with the Assessing and InspectionalServices Departments, and ensuring that clearand transparent instructions andrequirements were posted on andAnalyze Boston .We are now developing processes to updateand alert the Inspectional ServicesDepartment as listings are added to orremoved from online platforms in compliancewith the ordinance.“Inspectional Services hasworked hand-in-hand with theAnalytics Team to implement theCity's short-term rentalordinance. Their team wascrucial to providing us with thedata we need to effectivelyevaluate eligibility and carry outenforcement.”- Dion Irish, Commissioner, BostonInspectional Services Department2. PREDICTIVE MODELING FORHOMELESS SHELTER REFORM (2019)The Department of NeighborhoodDevelopment (DND), as a part of their effortto eliminate chronic homelessness in Boston,sought to identify patterns of homelessnessand shelter use to inform improvements tothe system for providing housing assistance.The team used machine learning techniquesto train a predictive model of shelter staylength on historical records of homelessness.The model aims to help Housing servicesidentify individuals who will exithomelessness without additional interventionor aid, and to uncover relevant patterns andtrends in the homelessness data.Our findings will help inform the upcomingMayor’s Action Plan to End Veteran andChronic Homelessness.5

How does ourwork relate to:PERFORMANCEAND INTERNALOPERATIONS1. CITYSCORE (2016)In 2016, the City of Boston launchedCityScore. CityScore is an initiative designedto inform the Mayor and city managers aboutthe overall health of the City at a moment’snotice by aggregating key performancemetrics into one number . CityScore enablescity leaders to ask better questions about cityservices, and enables the public to hold thecity accountable.previously manually compiled for the City’srevenue-generating departments. Our worksaves that team 40-60 staff hours everymonth.3. CREATING A DATA WAREHOUSE (2019)After carefully scoping our current and futureneeds, we implemented a centralized datawarehouse - powered by the Civis Analyticsplatform - that enables automated datatransfers and supports collaboration inanalytics projects.Prior to the Data Warehouse, data was storedin many different servers, each with differentlevels and methods of access. It was hard tokeep track of, and hard to make sureeverything was consistently accessible andup-to-date.A centralized Data Warehouse allows us tocombine datasets from previously siloedsystems. This lets us answer questions whichwere previously unanswerable and gain richinsight into projects spanning multipledepartments and enterprise systems.The Data Warehouse and automationplatform is completely hosted in the cloud.Extensive collaboration efforts betweeninternal DoIT teams allowed us to buildsecure network connections to allow for dataflow between on premise data systems and acloud Data Warehouse environment.In 2018, CityScore was updated to includenew metrics, and was completelyre-engineered and migrated to our datawarehouse to ensure sustainability and easeof maintenance over time.2. AUTOMATED REVENUE REPORTS(2019)We worked with the Budget Office toautomate the revenue reports analysts4. ETHICAL DATA WORKING GROUP(2019)Launched an ethical data working group tostart a collaborative conversation about theethical implications of data science projects.5. AUTOMATED KPI SCORECARDS (2018)Developed automated scorecards for theCity’s key performance indicators to allow theMayor, his staff, Cabinet Chiefs, and their6

departments to track their performance, andto more readily recognize changes and trendsin the data. By leveraging our data warehouse,we were able to decommission the systemthat previously supported the performancemanagement program, saving the City money.What’s more, these tools are automated,removing the manual input that the formerreporting process relied on. And since thesescorecards were designed using the samedata collection methodology that weimplemented for the second iteration ofCityscore, the Analytics team can have greaterconfidence in the data quality.automated reports, are able to follow up onincidents, track issues, and can build reportsas needed.How does ourwork relate to:CIVIC ENGAGEMENT1. ANALYZE BOSTON (2017)In 2017, the City of Boston launched AnalyzeBoston, our open data hub where you can findfacts, figures, and maps related to the City.Built using open source technology, we madethe site more transparent and accessible andincluded more context like data dictionariesand explanations that makes data more usablefor the public.Over time, we have continued to add newdatasets to Analyze Boston - nine just in 2019- including three intended to help promoteengagement, and understanding of the city’sannual budget.6. DIGITIZING DATA COLLECTION (2019)Developed processes to create 10 newdatasets - digitizing information that waspreviously on paper or tracked in a siloedspreadsheet on a single computer. Thisinformation is now available to city staff forvisualization and analysis.Our work with the Boston Public Libraryincident reports illustrates how helpful to Cityoperations and public safety digitizing formsand records can be. Previously, there was noway to systematically track or store safety andsecurity incidents occurring at librarylocations. We worked with the Boston PublicLibrary to build an online, centralized formand database. Library staff now receiveAnalyze Boston is frequently used by students,researchers, and community groups to betterunderstand what’s happening in Boston. Youcan check out our showcases to see what ourusers have done with open data.2. DATA LITERACY PROGRAM (2018)We helped launch the Civic Data AmbassadorsProgram, a free course that teaches librariansthe basics of data analysis and how to useAnalyze Boston. The six-week online coursewas a collaboration with the Engagement Labat Emerson College. More than 30 librarians,many working in the Boston Public Librarysystem, enrolled in the course.7

Operation Thank A Veteran Story Map3. ENSURING EVERYONE IS COUNTED(2018-2019)To prepare for the 2020 Census we reviewedand updated the US Census Bureau’sresidential address list in collaboration withthe Assessing Department, ElectionsDepartment, Department of NeighborhoodDevelopment and the Boston Planning andDevelopment Agency - finding over 50,000new potential addresses. This work will helpensure an accurate decennial census countfor Boston, which will determine theallocation of more than 675 billion annuallyin federal funding.4. OPERATION THANK-A-VETROUTING (2019)In order to efficiently use City staff andvolunteer time and resources, the Office ofVeterans Services required a new methodof planning routes for volunteers to godoor-to-door reaching out to veterans.With our help, staff can automaticallygenerate routes using ArcGIS routingtechnology and generate spreadsheets andmaps to be for volunteers at events. Thisallows the Office of Veterans Services to bemore efficient with their event preparation,reach more veterans per event, improve thevolunteer experience, and keep track ofveterans that they have not visited.5. STORY MAPSStory maps are a way of presentinginformation in a visual way using maps,images, videos, text and links to webcontent.Story maps are being used by 10 citydepartments in a variety of ways. TheDesign & Construction story map shows theimprovements being made to parks acrossthe city. To Houston with Love tells thestory of Boston employees and constituentsworking together to send help afterHurricane Harvey. The Mayor’s CoffeeHours story map shows the schedule ofwhen he will be visiting each neighborhood.Information about neighborhood liaisons,city department locations, museums andcommunity centers can all be viewed asstory maps.6. MAPS AND DATA ON BOSTON.GOVIn addition to Analyze Boston, it’s importantfor departments to share data withconstituents through the City’s website. Tomake that process easier, we created asimple template in our data warehouseplatform to allow pulling data from GoogleDocs to an online map automatically. Thisenables departments