Press Release City Budget

CBC Prize for Public Service Innovation to Be Awarded to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics

March 02, 2015

New York, NY – March 2, 2015 – The Citizens Budget Commission today announced that the winner of the 2015 CBC Prize for Public Service Innovation is New York City’s Office of Data Analytics in the Office of the Mayor. The CBC Prize is awarded annually – in alternating years to either a New York City or a New York State agency – to recognize and promote successful innovations in the delivery of public services. The Prize will be presented at tomorrow’s CBC Annual Dinner.

The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics is charged with developing collaborative data-driven solutions to service-delivery problems, creating a citywide data platform, and implementing the City’s open data law. The Office has been at the forefront of using “big data” in government, and its innovations have demonstrated significant benefits, a large public impact, and a capacity to be replicated in other cities.

Working with Accenture and the City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics created a new integrated analytics infrastructure called DataBridge. The system accesses the wealth of City data – from 311 calls to building inspections to zoning maps – to create a comprehensive and dynamic picture of the City’s environment and operations. Databridge has powerful analytic capabilities, including data discovery, predictive analytics, and enriched financial analysis.

A prime example of the Office’s work can be seen in its role in guiding the successful implementation of Universal Pre-K for the 2014 school year. On April 3, 2014, Mayor de Blasio announced that the City had secured funding to provide full-day pre-Kindergarten for all 4-year-old New Yorkers. The City would add 36,321 seats to the existing full-day pre-K capacity for the coming school year – an expansion of more than 170%. The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics partnered with the Pre-Kindergarten for All (PKA) team to assist with data management and analysis for the outreach and enrollment efforts.

The Office and the PKA team identified all of the city and private industry data that might contain information about 4-year-olds, and used it to create a unified “golden” record for each student. As four-year-olds have a very small digital footprint, MODA needed to apply data matching, data quality management and modern outreach techniques to quickly and accurately ensure that the City was able to reach the families of all eligible children. The Office then corroborated this information with enrollment data to accurately assess the number of overall applicants. With the Office’s assistance, the City was successful in getting the massive expansion up and running, and on November 12 the Mayor announced that the City had succeeded in enrolling a total of 53,230 pre-K students for the 2014-2015 school year.

Other notable examples of the Office’s work include, among others, implementation of the following:

“New York City has distinguished itself by creating the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics and using it to implement service-delivery initiatives unusual in their scale and impact,” said CBC President Carol Kellermann. “The successful implementation of expanded pre-K provides just one significant example of the Office’s utility and its capacity to enhance service delivery for the public.”

  • the City’s first Comprehensive Business Census, which maps all commercial activity and allowed the City to target resources to small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy;
  • the FDNY Risk-Based Inspections System, which has dramatically improved the City’s ability to predict and inspect buildings at risk of serious fires; the System combines data from interviews with veteran firefighters on criteria for dangerous buildings, historical information on fires in recent years, and data from the Departments of City Planning, Buildings, Environmental Protection, and Finance.

“We are honored to receive the CBC Public Service Innovation Award for our role in helping realize Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to implementing Universal Pre-K in New York City”, said Mindy Tarlow, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations which oversees the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics. “I can think of no better use of MODA’s tools and expertise than helping to launch this critical initiative.”

Honorable Mention for the CBC Prize will be presented to the New York City Office of the Comptroller for ClaimStat, a data-driven approach to analyzing the tens of thousands of claims filed against the City of New York each year in real time.

About the CBC Prize for Public Service Innovation 

Created in 1997, the Prize celebrates creative thinking and shares government achievements with the public and other agencies. In alternating years, it is awarded either to a New York State or a New York City agency. Each year the winner is selected from nominations requested from more than 150 government officials. The nominations are reviewed by CBC staff and a committee composed of CBC Trustees, and that committee of Trustees – co-chaired this year by Thomas J. Brodsky and Justin S. Steinberg – makes the selection.