Open Data Buffalo
Open Data Buffalo is the City's official open data program that makes public information publicly available for free in easily accessible formats.
In August 2017, Mayor Byron W. Brown signed an Open Data Policy that had been drafted and put online for public annotation in order to create a policy responsive to public needs. A key component of implementation was the launch of the Open Data Buffalo portal. Whether you are an inquiring resident or a software developer, Open Data Buffalo is an invaluable resource for anyone to easily access data published by the City. Open Data Buffalo acts as a bridge between you and the City. Instead of going through a formal process to request information, you are able to instantly review, compare, visualize, analyze and share your data discoveries!
Open Data Buffalo Vision
Buffalo is a data-smart city. Leadership and employees use data to continuously improve City services and operations. City staff has the support, skills and capacity to collect, manage, and use data effectively and efficiently. Our data is understood, documented and of high quality. Our data infrastructure provides data that is usable, timely, and accessible. Published data supports broad and unanticipated uses of City data and supports trust, transparency and accountability.
Open Data Buffalo Mission
To facilitate knowledge transfer, insight, data-informed decisions, and innovation through the publication of open data.
Why Open Data?
By opening up data on City work and functions, City residents will be able to see, in a concrete way, all the work that the City government does every single day to make Buffalo a great place to live, work, and play. Open data is a tool for promoting public trust by giving everyone greater insight into the activities of government.
As we increase transparency through open data, the City has also set safeguards and controls in place to ensure that access to protected and/or sensitive information is blocked.
Complementing Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Requests
Open Data Buffalo proactively disseminates public information that is frequently requested through the FOIL process, thus reducing staff time and resources dedicated to fulfilling these time-consuming and duplicative requests for data. It will also cut down on calls and call time of information requests. One open data release has the potential to address multiple requests for information that can be repetitive and costly to respond to if addressed on an individual basis.
Enhancing Data-Informed Decision making
Using open data, executive and legislative leadership will have the ability to generate quick insight about what’s happening around Buffalo. Having readily available data about police incidents, housing violations, fire incidents, 311 calls, and other information will give departments the ability to pinpoint areas of Buffalo most in need of city services.
Driving Internal Efficiencies
Open Data Buffalo will also drive innovation and efficiency throughout all of City Hall by making it easier for City Hall employees to obtain data held across separate departments. Proactive online posting of public data also gives internal users full access. Data sharing across departments improves workflows, reduces or eliminates the need to request and fulfill internal requests for data, ends unnecessary duplicative data collection, and allows agencies to utilize data already collected by other departments instantaneously without creating a copy of the dataset which can lead to multiple versions of the same dataset being utilized by different departments.
Open Data Buffalo can also increase government capacity at low cost. Connecting external users with government data helps provide more oversight, idea generation, and data analyses than City Hall could accomplish alone. What government is capable of doing with its own data is enhanced by private sector access to government data. Making data easily accessible to application developers, researchers, cartographers, etc. can drive innovation by letting the public build smartphone apps, insight, and visualizations with public data. Open data can also fuel business development and job growth. Small businesses may start-up using government data in combination with other information to offer new services to consumers. Innovators can transform wholesale government data into products and services of value to the citizenry.
To help you get started with our tools, please watch this series of videos designed to teach you the basics about engaging with Open Data Buffalo.
Portal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
View interactive charts, graphs, and maps that provide greater context to how each and every City department is performing.
Open Data Buffalo StateStat
View data stories highlighting each of Buffalo's nine Common Council Districts: Delaware, Ellicott, Fillmore, Lovejoy, Masten, Niagara, North, South, and University.
Explore population, social, economic, and housing data at the planning neighborhood level.
Quickly generate insight in an interactive and accessible way! Data lensing is a unique, dynamic format with “cards” that interact with each other.
My Neighborhood Buffalo
My Neighborhood Buffalo provides Buffalo residents with up-to-date, neighborhood-based, incident-level data. Create an account to receive e-mail alerts on new incidents.
Site support from Socrata, the City’s open data portal provider