July 12, 2006
Live Data Feeds Improve Transparency to Government Operations
In 2004, City Administrator Robert Bobb asked the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) to develop a program called DCStat that would provide real-time operational data from multiple agencies and sources to executive managers.
“The guiding principle for streaming city agency information to the web is to enable residents to better understand our government’s activities, thereby offering more opportunities to participate in improving the quality of life and promoting economic development in the District,” stated Bobb.
Today, the program, now called Citywide Data Warehouse (CityDW), is transforming the District of Columbia. With shared, real-time data, District agencies can operate as more responsive, better-performing organizations. Now CityDW supports information exchange between District agencies by providing access to more than 150 data sets. District employees can view city operational activities through multiple web-based applications and can gather information to support many District initiatives.
District residents can access operational data by subscribing to Live Data Feeds that are updated on an hourly, daily or weekly basis by CityDW. This allows residents to monitor government performance and activities that will provide greater accountability in all business groups and agencies.
CityDW delivers the data feeds to users via three formats: 1) Real Simple Syndication (RSS), which provides agency data in a summary report; 2) XML, which allows users to view data in spreadsheet format; 3) Atom, which allows users to sort information, build applications and conduct data analysis.
Datasets now available through the Live Data Feeds include service requests from the Mayor’s Call Center and the online Service Request Center as well as information about all vacant properties registered with the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR). Other live data feeds will be released as available regarding crime, housing code enforcement, basic business licenses, building permits and more.