Data Lens is the next generation Socrata visualization experience that aims to empower publishers to easily create the engaging visualization experience for their constituents to explore data in a meaningful and relevant way.
While the tabular presentation of data is familiar and factual, it is not the way that people naturally understand information. This is especially true with large datasets containing up to millions of rows where each row represents an individual record. It’s hard to see the forest for the trees when data is presented this way. Are noise complaints going up or down? What neighborhood has the highest property values?
Data Lens allows publishers to quickly and easily create interactive and contextual visualizations from datasets. Through our user research where we asked citizens to complete data analysis tasks, we learned that with Data Lens 95% of citizens are successful at finding simple trends, 75% successful at finding complex trends. On the other hand, with the tabular view 0% of citizens were successful at either of these tasks in under 5 minutes.
Knowing these research insights, how can publishers broaden the impact of the data they publish using Data Lens? We identified the most valuable datasets where Data Lens would increase user understanding exponentially over the traditional tabular view along with real customer examples.
Since public safety is typically top of mind for citizens and governments alike, 911 and crime data is usually one of the most in demand datasets for local governments. Crime datasets that provide individual incident information is incredibly rich but is overwhelming to consume as a whole. Using Data Lens, publishers can easily visualize crime over time, crime by neighborhood and crime by category.
311 / Service Requests
Service request or 311 data provides important transparency into what government is doing to meet citizen needs on a daily basis. By visualizing this data using Data Lens, citizens can easily search for specific requests as well as get a sense of overall progress.
Studies have shown that food safety and restaurant inspection scores can reduce food poisoning rates, which is why it’s so important to make valuable food inspection data easily understandable. Many customers have done exactly that using Data Lens.
Active business listings or permits provides a candid portrait of a region’s economic landscape. Using Data Lens, publishers can create visualizations that allows users to look up specific businesses as well as get a broad overview of the types of industries that are active in the area.
Building Permit data is a great indicator of a region’s economic activity. Residents can get an idea of what development that might affect their daily routine while business owners can get a glimpse into what commercial activity that may impact their businesses.
Affordable housing is a key priority for many residents in a region. Being able to easily explore this data on a map, and filter down to specific neighborhoods makes this information immediately relevant and useful to citizens.
Property Assessment and Property Tax
Using Data Lens, citizens can look up specific information about their own properties as well as explore patterns and trends near them and around the region. Visualizing this data also provides key demographic insights into a region.
We already know public data on traffic violations could lead to data driven decisions by the government, which is why publishing this data in a highly visual and consumable way is so useful. Armed with data, residents could form their own hypotheses about trends and root causes.
Social Services Providers
In a recent study we learned that social services is one of the top 5 topics that constituents commonly have questions about. As a result, publishing a directory where users can look up specific services or provider names as well as visualizing service provider on map would be hugely beneficial.