11:00am

Thu December 19, 2013
Finding the Data

Chattanooga Moves Forward With Data-Driven Innovation

A team of the nation's most talented web designers, coders, and technologists is coming to Chattanooga to improve city services in the digital 21st century.  

Last October, Code for America, a nonprofit organization that helps local government, named Chattanooga a Fellowship City. Out of the 50 cities who applied for the fellowship, only ten received the opportunity. According to a press release, the Fellows will produce open-source web applications to improve "public safety and civic engagement."

How does the city of Chattanooga plan to improve these areas? One word: Data.

Jeff Cannon, the Chief Innovation Officer for Mayor Berke, says, "Everything we do in government creates data. We just haven't been great with extracting data, looking at data, disseminating data, and evaluating data." 

Currently, Chattanooga's public data may not have the web-application support needed to analyze it. Or in some cases, the data has not been digitized at all. But with the help from the Code for America Fellows, data-driven innovation in Chattanooga may change.

Luke Norris, Code for America's Director of Government Relations, says, "[Code for America's] Fellows will spend the entire month of February in the community, but also with citizens and community leaders, to understand the issues that relate to problems in the city. [The Fellows] end up using all the research to suggest a digital solution that may impact the problem."

The Code for America Fellowship begins in January and lasts until November.