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Eight cities selected for ‘big data’ support

Bloomberg Philanthropies is in the process of choosing 100 mid-sized U.S. cities to improve their data-analysis capabilities and improve services. (Bloomberg Philanthropies)

Cities are awash in data, but often they lack the expertise to make full use of it. Bloomberg Philanthropies has selected eight cities as the first to participate in a $42 million effort designed to bridge that gap. The “What Works” initiative launched in April to help mid-sized U. S. cities improve municipal services, guide decision-making and spur citizen engagement.

Chattanooga, Tenn.; Jackson, Miss.; Kansas City, Mo.; Louisville, Ky.; Mesa, Ariz.; New Orleans, La.; Seattle, Wash.; and Tulsa, Ok., were chosen from 112 applicants, the announcement says. A total of 100 cities will be picked through 2017.

The philanthropy, founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, will tailor the data analysis to each city’s needs. For example, Jackson plans to use data to track progress on the mayor’s priorities and monitor daily municipal operations. Tulsa wants to make data collected by the city more accessible to the public. Kansas City plans to use data to inform budgetary and strategic decisions.

Bloomberg Philanthropies

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