Philadelphia’s Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation Works to Overhaul City Services

Philadelphia’s Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation (ODDT) is a relatively new agency, originally formed in May 2016, only a few months after Mayor Jim Kenney took office.

This office, which is helmed by Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski, is responsible, of course, for the city’s work with open data. But it has also been given a larger mission by the city’s leadership, one that is both public-facing and internal.

Publicly, the office is to redesign the city’s website, which Wisniewski described as “the biggest front door to government outside of the physical buildings.” While internally, the office is to work with the individual departments that make up the local government, helping them find ways to be more effective for constituents.

“ODDT is a new office that’s founded on this idea that we can bring specialized skills and practices from the tech world and the design world, and pair those with dedicated public servants inside government,” Wisniewski said, “and end up with government services that are easier to find, and understand, and interact with than ever before.” Read more…