The Civic Analytics Network (CAN) held its inaugural convening in Cambridge October 26-28. CAN is an affiliation of municipal data officers from the largest cities in the country including New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston. The network, directed by Professor Stephen Goldsmith, seeks to advance the use of data and analytics in municipal governance. CAN members work on data systems that provide critical services for millions of people such as emergency response, police violence reduction, and population health.
CAN brings members together as a peer group to exchange ideas and best practices monthly via conference calls and twice annually for an in-person convening. CAN produces webinars, policy memos, and resources to support the replication of analytics projects for its members. Additionally, the CAN team, in conjunction with partners at the Center for Data Science and Public Policy at the University of Chicago, will seek to replicate data-driven predictive analytics projects to help our municipal partners more effectively use resources to advance equity, safety, and health initiatives in line with the mission of The Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which has generously funded this work.
The final week of October brought about the second convening of the CAN members. For two days, the group discussed the most pressing issues in data-driven municipal governance including the next generation of open data portals, data for emergency response, and data-driven policing and criminal justice. The keynote was delivered by HKS Lecturer and Research Fellow David Eaves who discussed the importance of open data and data-driven policy.