NeighborhoodWatch-Cervello (2)

Members of the Cervello team recently took on the Boston HubHacks data challenge. Competition was fierce with a total of seventeen submissions and seven finalists, and we’re proud to be named a People’s Choice champion earning the most votes of any other submission!

Dubbed HubHacks2, this data visualization challenge, managed by the City of Boston, calls upon developers, designers, and data scientists to find new insights in urban data and present them in visually appealing, understandable, and thought-provoking ways. This data will then be presented and displayed in different places throughout the City, such as digital displays around the Seaport and at Fenway Park.

This contest builds on the open data portal, an initiative by the City of Boston to practice Open Government through participation, transparency, collaboration and engagement with citizens and key stakeholders. To accomplish this, the City aims to expand and deepen its innovative use of information technology including the provisioning of online data.

Using brand new data sets that are based upon the experiences of people living and working in Boston, HubHackers were asked to:

  • Connect City data and other public data sets to create more contextualized understanding of our progress towards the goal of a thriving, healthy and innovative city.
  • Craft innovative visualizations that highlight trends, opportunities, and decision points, providing deeper insight for the City and better transparency to citizens.
  • Find valuable insights that will help business owners, residents and students who call Boston home.
  • Create visualizations that support a conversation between City government and the community around important topics.

So what did the Cervello team create, and how did they do it?
Using Birst, the Cervello team built, Neighborhood Watch, a dashboard that provides a view of all crime incidents in Boston reported over the past 4 years. The dashboard is composed of six sections with each section providing a different insight into Boston’s neighborhoods.

Because of the different neighborhood boundaries in Boston’s ever changing geography, the team was tasked with finding the most logic division of areas. For example, some datasets might refer to “Downtown” and others would refer to the “Financial District”. The team carefully reviewed and categorized the data to find the most accurate insight possible. Additionally, the team worked to categorize over 40 different crime codes in the dataset according to the type of incident that was reported. The dashboard has over 30 components that summarize information such as:

Section 1 – Incidents by Neighborhood and Type of Crime
Section 2 – Incidents by Type
Section 3 – Incidents Involving a Weapon over Time
Section 4 – Neighborhood – Age Distribution and Crime
Section 5 – Neighborhood – School Enrollment Distribution and Crime
Section 6 – Neighborhood – Gender Distribution and Crime
See Neighborhood Watch in action here: http://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/coevYdeN72.

What does our People’s Choice status mean?
This gives us a guaranteed spot at the finals and the opportunity to present and potentially be named a winner. Show your support for us by attending the finals on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 12:00 PM at Faneuil Hall. Following presentations, remarks from Mayor Marty Walsh and the judging, the event should conclude no later than 2 p.m.

Nice work and good luck to Cervello team members: George Veth, Hunter Dunbar, John Anderson, Mike Kelly, Mike Carignan, Robert Larson and Scot MacGillivray.

Interested in learning more? Join our mailing list!

Scafati_Cara_8Author: Cara Scafati

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