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Whose Analysis? Whose Expertise?: Partnering for Better Data Analytics for Small Cities

Laurel Smith-Doerr, Kelly Joyce, Susan Sterett, Elisa Martinez

November 03, 2017

On October 20, 2017, Kelly Joyce, PhD, Drexel University, and Susan Sterett, PhD, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, gave a talk at University of Massachusetts, Amherst titled “Whose Analysis? Whose Expertise?: Partnering for Better Data Analytics for Small Cities.”

The event brought together social scientists, computer scientists and city planners to think about how best to use big data for urban planning. Joyce and Sterett explored big data projects that went well and those that did not to think through possible connections between big data and city planning.

A planner who attended the event noted that city planners often interact with data products, yet little is known about which data is included or excluded in such products, making it hard to know their limits. Participants also wrestled with questions such as what constitutes big data and which types of expertise should be part of new data science programs.

This dialogue was funded from the National Science Foundation award #1623445. It builds on a previous workshop—“Advancing Ethics for Trustworthy Cyberspace and Data Analytics,” that was organized by Joyce and Sterett and was held on September 29-30, 2016 in Arlington, VA. Joyce and Sterett are working on a report that summarizes findings from the workshop. The report will be freely available to the public.

For more information on this discussion, see