SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — San Jose is rolling out a new online tool that’s designed to help micro-manage the city. It crunches large amounts of data to calculate neighborhoods in need.
“Neighborhoods that are as little as a few blocks away from each other have vastly different outcomes and measures. So it’s really important that we get down to the granular level,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo.
And this is the tool to get there–the new online database is called the Social Progress Index. It throws out the old ways of looking at services areas, such as 23 zip codes and 5 council districts, and puts them through a magnifying glass of 200 much smaller census tracts.
“What we’ll see, even within a council district, will be a tale of two cities,” Liccardo said.
The tool is built on software originally designed to help businesses identify markets and trends. But the city uses it to take data from sources like the census, school districts and crime databases to visualize how blocks of streets are doing.
It can graph out past failures or success indicators such as childhood literacy or adults with college degrees.
“You can see here that there was an increase in the attainment of advanced degrees. But then it peaked and leveled off,” said Khanh Russo, the mayor’s Director of Strategic Partnerships.
“This gives us good insights and allows us to ask questions like, ‘Is there more we can do?'” he said. San Jose is the first city in the nation to use the Social Progress Index.
“The data is there right? But it’s the insights and the visualizations that allows you to make better decisions,” Russo said. The Social Progress Index is live on the city’s website at www.spisanjose.org.