Amen Ra Mashariki leads Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Data and Analytics (MODA). Named to his current position in November 2014, he previously worked at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab, as a White House fellow and most recently as chief technology officer for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. We caught up with him to talk about how the city is putting analytics and open data to use to improve operations.
HOW DO ANALYTICS SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NEW YORK CITY?
MODA takes on agencies as clients around analytics projects. We put together a suite of analytics projects in partnership with the Small Business Services agency, and one of those projects is Business Atlas. If you’re a large company, you have access to a lot of market research resources. If you’re an entrepreneur, you may or may not have access to those types of resources. So we work with about nine agencies, including the state liquor license organization as well as federal organizations like the Census Bureau, to get data. Then we use analytics to create a map so that anyone can put an address in and get all sorts of information around income, the age group of the people that live in that area, what businesses are in that area. … We bring it all together to help entrepreneurs make better decisions when opening up businesses.
WHAT HAS THE IMPACT BEEN?
NYC Uses Big Data and Analytics to Spur Small Business Growth - New York City has developed a Business Atlas tool that combines multiple data sets to provide sophisticated market research for potential employers.
NYC Business Atlas - Use this tool to explore business conditions in your neighborhood. Maps layers display data for the entire neighborhood tabulation area based on the closest census tract.
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