Call for Community Board Data Success Stories and Data Needs Use Cases
At BetaNYC, for the past two months, we have been collaborating with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office to conduct research to better understand the information infrastructure that supports community boards in producing recommendations to the city. We have been documenting the existing information workflows within community boards, while also highlighting areas where improving the availability and accessibility of city information could further support community board operations. We have been doing this research in collaboration with community district offices; we have interviewed most of the district managers in Manhattan about how their boards use information to analyze issues and advance decision-making. We have also inquired district managers about the datasets and tools they would like to see more accessible to their board members.
We are now seeking to solicit feedback from community board members themselves. To do so, we are sending out a survey to all community board members in New York City, and asking them to submit:
- A Data Success Story describing an instance when a committee or board member successfully used public data or tools to address an issue that came before the board
- A Data Needs Use Case describing an instance when a committee or board member was confronted with an issue for which they needed more or more readily available data to make a better-informed decision.
Each use case should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete, and while it would greatly support our work if each community board member could fill the survey out twice (submitting one Data Success Story and one Data Needs Use Case), we would be happy to accept whatever board members have time to complete. Members can certainly submit more than one.
At BetaNYC, we will organize and index the data success stories into a catalog that we will share publicly and make readily available to all community boards (upon receiving permission from the submitter). The data needs use cases will help our team 1) to identify data sets that we should request for the city to produce, 2) to develop training for community boards regarding how to find and pull apart relevant data, and 3) to produce tools that display this information in intuitive ways. We plan to share use cases with civic hackers with whom we collaborate.
The survey will remain open until June 30; it can be accessed here (https://betanyc.forms.fm/community-board-data-success-stories-and-use-cases).