Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
Sept 29–Oct 1, 2015 • New York, NY

Fixing Chicago’s crime data

Jay Margalus (MapR), Mike Emerick (MapR)
4:35pm–5:15pm Wednesday, 09/30/2015
Law, Ethics, & Open Data
Location: 3D 04/09 Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.67, 6 ratings)
Slides:   external link

Open government is an incredibly popular topic today. From the appointment to office of the nation’s first chief data scientist, to cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago signing executive orders to open up city data to the public, more government data is available to us than ever before. Because of that, one would be right to think we’re in an era of unprecedented transparency.

Yet in late February 2015, investigative journalists revealed that the Chicago police department had been operating “black sites” around the city — essentially, places where Americans were detained, and then disappeared off the record. None of this data made it onto the city’s open data networks. This egregious, illegal behavior was not uncovered through open data, but through traditional journalistic methods.

This, and other stories like this, fundamentally calls into question the data integrity of open government initiatives. How can we still use this information to derive insights into our government? What can we do to identify omissions in the data? And how can we improve the integrity of open government data through traditional data analysis?

Photo of Jay Margalus

Jay Margalus


Jayson Margalus is a demo engineer at MapR, faculty member at DePaul Unviersity, and has a background in design with a specialty in games, interactive exhibits, and data. He lives in Mokena, Illinois where he chairs the Mokena Technology Committee, the Mokena makerspace SpaceLab, and runs a Maker Faire. He also founded the Glen Ellyn makerspace Workshop 88. Some maker-related projects include the “Big Data Outbreak” project for Big Data Everywhere and Hackerspaces in Space. Jay also writes for outlets like Make, NBC Chicago, and the Mokena Messenger.

Photo of Mike Emerick

Mike Emerick


Mike Emerick is currently acting as the healthcare industry architect for MapR technologies. Prior to this Michael was the co-founder of the IBM Healthcare Transformation Lab, where he focused on the buildout of large healthcare infrastructures and healthcare data analytics. His work included federal level health information exchanges for Australia, China, and Canada, and regional health information exchanges throughout the U.S. Mike worked on building out business and technical models for health benefit exchanges and accountable care organizations. He also worked on early solutions for genomic optimized care for patients with HIV/AIDS using HPC architectures. Mike’s current work centers around care models outside health provider organizations for individual and public health. Specifically, he is looking at healthy city strategies and their impact on public and individual health.