City Data Fellow

Help city government agencies leverage their data as a Data Fellow with the new City Data Fellows program in the Mayor’s Office of Performance & Innovation! As a Data Fellow, you will:

  • Use the power of data to improve city government service to our citizens

  • Embed with a city agency for a period of one year and focus on a data project

  • Be paired with an agency staffer (a “Departmental Champion”) who is close to the issues and data and needs your help!

  • Demonstrate to the city agency that hiring you permanently after your fellowship ends is a wise investment

  • Have a seat at the table with leaders in city government who will use your work to inform their decision-making

  • Have the support, guidance, and management of the Mayor’s Office of Performance & Innovation

Here are some examples of the type of work you might do once you’re matched with an agency:

  • Automation of manual tasks. Many agencies have data reporting requirements or use basic metrics to drive decisions, but rely on manual calculations or repeated analysis procedures that could be automated, saving employees time.

  • Dashboard or analytics tools. Dashboards are a good way of using data to drive day-to-day operations or for strategic decision making. 

  • Program or policy evaluation. Agencies may already be collecting data that would indicate whether programs or policies are effective, wise investments but don’t currently have the capacity to analyze the data properly to make this assessment. An evaluation will help city leaders decide how to best use their resources.

  • Improvement of spreadsheet models or tools. Sometimes a spreadsheet really is the best tool for the job. Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool, but is not always used to its fullest extent. You might improve existing spreadsheet tools with formulas, pivot tables, and macros, for example.

  • Database design and implementation. Some agencies may identify data that they would like to begin capturing, or have captured but is either paper or is otherwise not stored in a way that it can be efficiently used. You might design a relational database that could be used for future applications.

We expect:

  • In the first month, you will understand the problem, you’ll access and explore relevant data, propose one or two ideas on how to solve the problem, and propose some success indicators for how we’ll know your solution is working

  • By the third month, you’ll prototype your solution, begin to gather feedback from users and stakeholders, and have some baseline data for your success indicators

  • By the sixth month, you’ll have refined your solution by gathering feedback and producing better analysis, and you’ll also likely have identified a side project or two with your Departmental Champion and agency

  • By the end of your fellowship, your agency will want to bring you in permanently because your success metrics indicate that your solution has worked and that you’ve demonstrated value to your agency

You should apply if:

  • You’re excited about furthering the cause of data-driven performance in Baltimore city government

  • You’re committed to the City of Baltimore and care about serving fellow residents

  • You have a technical background - science, technology, engineering, and math - or have picked up data analysis and/or some programming knowledge in your education or early career

  • You can demonstrate your ability to derive insights from data and communicate those insights to a non-technical audience

A little about the program:

  • The City Data Fellows program is a new program that will tentatively launch in the summer of 2019, contingent upon the new fiscal year budget being approved

  • The motivation for the new program is to add data and problem-solving capacity to city government agencies

A little about us:

  • The recently formed Mayor’s Office of Performance & Innovation combines the Innovation Team (formerly the Mayor’s Office of Innovation) and CitiStat

  • CitiStat is City Hall’s performance management and accountability team; we use data to measure city agency performance and progress towards Mayoral goals

  • The Innovation Team is currently funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies; we use data and human-centered design to bring new ideas to one Mayoral priority at a time

  • The Innovation Team has primarily focused on recruiting & hiring for the Baltimore Police Department

How To Apply

  • Write a 300 word statement why you should be a Data Fellow

  • Email your resume and 300 word statement to Justin Elszasz, Deputy Director of CitiStat and Analytics Lead for the Mayor’s Office of Performance and Innovation, at justin.elszasz@baltimorecity.gov with the subject line “City Data Fellow”