Smart City PDX Data Services

group of hands pointing at a computer screen with graphs and charts
Smart City PDX’s Data Services provides centralized, modern data management services to City staff and partners to collect, use, analyze, and share data. Data Services supports anyone internal or external to the City of Portland in using data to inform decisions and evaluate City services.

Modern Data Management

The suite of services provided cover the full spectrum of modern data management. We don’t just support open and transparent information products like dashboards, which are more visible and commonly known. We also support governance, tools, methods, workflows, and teams looking to develop or improve modern data management skillsets, which are often hidden and less visible aspects.

Think of it as a “modern data management iceberg.” The part of an iceberg that is visible above the water surface is typically only 20% of the iceberg, while the other 80% is invisible under the water. Investments in governance, technology, methods, and training help improve usability and sustainability of products such as dashboards or other types of data analyses.

Graphic of an iceberg with text "Tip of the data management iceberg" above water line, and "Support," "Technology," and "Governance" below the water line.
The more visible and commonly known parts of data management are dashboards and data visualizations. Less visible pieces like staff training, technology infrastructure and other tools, workflows, and standards make up the bulk of the work.

Smart City PDX’s Data Services works across all these elements to support data becoming a community asset. Data Services partners with communities, the Bureau of Technology Services, the Office of Equity and Human Rights and others to collaboratively design and implement this work.

Current Data Services work

Data Services works on several citywide, collaborative data projects to help deliver the value of modern data management. City teams can make requests to Data Services and we will work with teams to identify a scope of work. Our workplans are then re-prioritized as possible. The focus of the Data Services team’s work is driven by annual budgeted projects.

  • City Data Governance Committee
    Data is an essential asset for the City of Portland. Proper data management supports better analysis, leading to improved City services. This committee creates policies and best practices to ensure bureaus and offices are improving data management and formalizing our use and sharing of data. In partnership with all City bureaus and offices and the Bureau of Technology Services.
  • Community Leads Cohort
    A cohort of three community leaders working alongside City staff. The cohort bring community knowledge and wisdom to help shape City practices around data justice and data governance. Read related news.
  • Community Safety Data Project
    A limited term investment to provide centralized, modern data management services to additional City and community priorities. The initial focus is on improving public safety data accessibility and management. In partnership with Community Safety Division. View the Community Safety Data projects and timelines and the City's existing public safety dashboards.
  • Rescue Plan Data and Equity Strategies Team (DEST)
    An interdisciplinary team established to support the delivery of projects funded through the $208 M American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investment package. DEST creates and implements a unique and comprehensive performance and data management strategy. In partnership with Office of Equity and Human Rights, Office of Management and Finance Grants Division. View the Rescue Plan Open Data Portal for more information.
  • Transition Team Survey Design and Data Analysis Support
    An interagency project to provide survey design and data analysis support to the team responsible for implementing voter-approved changes to the City’s election system and form of government. In partnership with Office of Equity and Human Rights, Office of the Chief Administraive Officer
  • Data Collaboration Space
    We are testing out a new model for how we work as data analysts together to serve Portlanders. Often data analysts are siloed to a single role or project without dedicated support. This project coordinates data analysts across BPS Smart City PDX and Tech Services teams on a weekly basis. In this space, we learn about each other’s work styles and projects to collaborate and contribute to each other’s work in meaningful ways, promote reproducibility, and elevate data quality best practices.