CGU Students Help City of La Make Data-Driven Decisions


Running a huge city like La means asking plenty of questions: Does public art near public venues possess a measurable impact? How can LA monitor and enhance the way city streets are paved and maintained? If the finance department reconsider the actual way it audits business taxes?

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CISAT alumna Jeanne Holm '01, the senior technology advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, created Los Angeles' Data Science Federation, an initiative that pairs universities with city departments thinking about using predictive models and analysis to help them address problems in the nation's second most-populous city.

This past spring, Professors Yan Li and Lorne Olfman and 21 students-all from CISAT aside from one in the Drucker School of Management and something from Keck Graduate Institute-analyzed city datasets on public art, street paving, and business tax audits to generate a series of recommendations and reports presented to Los Angeles managers.

\”The city officials were impressed with the reports and think that the findings will be useful,\” said Olfman, who also serves as CISAT's acting director. \”Plans have been in process to continue this partnership.\”

The students' projects were tied to CISAT's \”Data Analytics & Information Visualization\” course.

The work included:

\”This partnership allows students to apply the data they are understanding how to solve real organizational problems,” Olfman said. \”Moreover, the City of Los Angeles will offer you students opportunities for internships and employment.\”

The objective of LA's Data Science Federation is tackling \”tough city problems that can make a positive change in lots of areas and expand on early operate in data science and data-driven making decisions for city government.\”

The federation was launched by Holm, the deputy chief information officer for Los Angeles' Information Technology Agency. As NASA/JPL's chief knowledge architect, she created an award-winning NASA portal. She was also an evangelist for the White House open data initiative, assisting to build communities and introduce technology in partnership with the general public, educators, developers, and international and city governments.

Holm most recently caused the World Bank to create tech startup cultures and improve government practices in education, health, agriculture, and social justice in Sierra Leone and Uganda. She's a Fellow of the United Nations International Academy of Astronautics.

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