Las Vegas Sun

March 26, 2019

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Here’s what was searched for the most on Las Vegas’ open portal

Las Vegas street names and outstanding warrants were among the top two data pages searched in 2017 on Las Vegas’ open data portal.

The pages allow workings of the city to be more transparent and provide a resource to residents to locate services and facilities, according to officials.

“Right now, it’s being used in a combination of ways,” said Al Pitts, information technology manager for Las Vegas. “It’s being used by internal departments, to come up with insights and do analysis on. We also have citizens who use the data. We make it open so universities, programmers and other organizations can benefit from the data.”

Inquiries on outstanding warrant arrests is an example of one of those services.

“It’s usually a combination of people looking themselves up to see if they have warrants, or friends and family members looking to see if someone they know has been detained and they find themselves on that set,” Pitts said.

Las Vegas saw almost 1.2 million page views in its open data portal in 2017 with 152 different data sets. Since starting the open data portal five years ago, usage has steadily increased with a noticed boom tied to the city’s Innovation District rolling out two years ago, Pitts said.

“There’s quite a bit of data being used for our smart city initiative,” he said. “A lot of the work tied to that is responsible for a large percentage of that uptick over the past few years.”

City polices relating to current and prospective employees are among the most popular searches.

“Some of our employees are looking to advance their careers so they’re looking at data to rate themselves to their peers,” Pitts said. “We’ve also been doing quite a bit of hiring as of late, so I’m sure a lot of perspective applicants are getting a feel for salary ranges and benefits information.”