Through a new open data portal, constituents of Cincinnati can find out how many heroin incidents have occurred near their homes and how frequently local roads have been treated with salt.

Cincinnati’s Office of Performance and Data Analytics (OPDA) recently launched CincyInsights, an open data portal with 15 dashboards containing city information. These dashboards include information on police response activity, snowplow movement, heroin incidents, and code enforcement.

According to Brandon Crowley, Cincinnati’s chief data officer, the city based CincyInsights’ data sets on city manager Harry Black’s five strategic priority goals: safer streets, growing economy, thriving and healthy neighborhoods, innovative government, and fiscal sustainability and strategic investment.

“It’s a host of dashboards that fall in line with the city manager’s goals,” Crowley said.

The snowplow data set is updated every three minutes. Cincinnati’s snowplows are furnished with GPS devices, which send information to a server every few minutes; CincyInsights is then updated with that information. People can check the database to see how often their streets are plowed, salted, and treated with brine.

CincyInsights’ breadth of heroin incident data is a response to the heroin epidemic. In August, the city saw more than 170 heroin overdoses in six days, according to the Washington Post. Crowley said that people can look up where heroin incidents have occurred within the month, down to the day and hour of the incident. They can also see what kind of transportation unit was dispatched in response to the situation.

“We thought it’d be good for people to look at this,” Crowley said. “We knew people didn’t want to just look at rows and columns.”

The database, which was launched on Dec. 7, has received more than 20,000 views as of Jan. 6. The snowplow tracker dashboard has received 6,642 hits. The heroin dashboard has received 3,700 views, and the police response dashboard has received 3,512. OPDA used a template from Socrata to build the site.

Crowley said OPDA is working on a new data set that shows where the city’s recycled materials go. He also said the city plans to continue adding police and drug use information to CincyInsights.

“We hope to add more data sets to safer streets,” Crowley said.


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