Schedule

We have four days of programming planned for this year’s Socrata Connect – see which parts are right for you and purchase the appropriate registration ticket.

Socrata Connect

Thursday and Friday, May 17-18

Keynotes, breakouts, hands-on workshops and fantastic networking – Thursday and Friday are your traditional conference format, and will have something for everyone. If you’re only able to come to Austin for two days, this is what you want!

Socrata Education Track

Wednesday, May 16

Our education team will be on-site holding classroom training on Socrata products. These small group classes are hands-on, so bring your own laptop. If you’re a Socrata Education subscriber, you can attend Education Day free of charge. For more information on the classes offered, check out this flyer.

Socrata Data Academy

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 15-16

Designed especially for government knowledge workers, this hands-on workshop covers the fundamentals of data analysis. Complete the online learning portion of the work ahead of time, then tackle a capstone project that uses your own government’s data during the 2-day in-person class. For more information on the Data Academy, check out this flyer.

Tuesday, May 15

7:30 am - 9:00 am

Breakfast and Networking

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Data Academy, Day 1 (lunch and breaks included)

Wednesday, May 16

7:30 am - 9:00 am

Breakfast and Networking

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Data Academy, Day 2 (lunch and breaks included)

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Education Track (lunch and breaks included)

8:30 am - 9:00 am

Prepare Your Data for Socrata [Socrata Platform Track]

Classroom 1
9:00 am - 10:30 am

Create & Manage Your Socrata Dataset [Socrata Platform Track]

Classroom 1
10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Introduction to Automated Publishing [Socrata Platform Track]

Classroom 1
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Visualize Data with Socrata [Compelling Storytelling Track]

Classroom 1
2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Tell a Story with Socrata Perspectives - Part 1 [Compelling Storytelling Track]

Classroom 1
3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Tell a Story with Socrata Perspectives - Part 2 [Compelling Storytelling Track]

Classroom 1
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Program Administration [Internal Data Sharing Track]

Classroom 2
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Sharing and Reporting [Internal Data Sharing Track]

Classroom 2
3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Data Analysis Tools and Connections on Socrata [Internal Data Sharing Track]

Classroom 2
8:30 am - 9:30 am

Performance Management with Socrata [Performance Track]

Classroom 3
9:30 am - 10:30 am

Create Performance Measures - Part 1 [Performance Track]

Classroom 3
10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Create Performance Measures - Part 2 [Performance Track]

Classroom 3
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Impactful Performance Management: Moving from Compliance to Use [Performance Track]

Classroom 3
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Maturing Your Performance Program [Performance Track]

Classroom 3
3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Identifying Actionable Analytics in Your Government [Performance Track]

Classroom 3
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Socrata Connect Welcome Reception - all attendees invited

The Reverbery, Austin Hilton lobby

Thursday, May 17

7:00 am - 8:30 am

Registration opens

7:15 am - 8:15 am

Breakfast and Networking

Why is Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt so glad to see you all in Austin? We'll hear what he's most excited about for Socrata Connect, highlight some recent customer achievements, and share his vision for the coming year.
Speakers:
Kevin Merritt
9:00 am - 9:40 am
Main Stage
The team from our host city, Austin, have been busy shining up their boots for our arrival. Hear from their executive team about their many outstanding data programs supported by Socrata - from a capital projects portal to their data liaisons program to Performance ATX. And, find about their "Imagine Austin" plan for an even more successful, beautiful city in the future.
Speakers:
Kimberly Olivares
Which data matters most to governments addressing homelessness, economic development, or graduation rates? We tend to weigh quantitative data more heavily than qualitative when justifying budget decisions or creating 5-year plans. But, qualitative data offers important insights. In this talk, Tricia integrates the histories of electricity, computers, and algorithms to help governments understand why there is a bias towards the quantifiable, and how to integrate qualitative data when facing complicated decisions.
Speakers:
Tricia Wang
10:25 am - 11:10 am

AM Break

When Amazon announced its search for a new headquarters, it described the qualities of a city that would best support its success. The city needs to be ready to grow and develop its economy at a rapid rate. How can any city foster rapid economic growth? What role can data play? Socrata Digital Government Principal and former New Orleans analytics lead, Oliver Wise, hosts a panel of HQ2 applicant cities to discuss economic development and data.
Speakers:
Victoria Lewis, Mike Sarasti, Oliver Wise
Join Government Performance Practice Leader Jeff Press as he interviews two forward-thinking, visionary performance management leaders. Debbie Volk from the City of St. Petersburg, Florida will describe her work to get key departments, such as water and other utilities, sharing and using data together. While Evaluation Officer at the European Commission David Alba will give his perspective on urban policy in Europe and data-driven performance.
Speakers:
Jeffrey Press
Understand what makes up a Digital Center of Excellence (DCoE) and how to build a scalable DCoE that meets your organization needs. This session will include lessons on structure, validation, tying it all together, and monitoring.
Speakers:
Alexander Krughoff, Andrew Strong, Kevin Donohue, Kirk McLean, Evan Allred
11:15 am - 12:20 pm
Workshop 2
Learn how your organization can perform sophisticated analysis of data published on Socrata via OData endPoints, using business intelligence tools like Power BI, Excel, and Tableau.
Speakers:
Alicia Brown
Automation is a key component to a successful data program. It ensures that data is fresh, relevant, and allows timely insight into what the data can tell us. We will go over a sampling of tools to enable you to begin the automation discussion or take your data program to the next level. The challenges of automation can seem daunting but the rewards are invaluable. Come join us on the ETL journey and bring questions to gain insights from your peers. This session is a nice companion to the "Dataset Creation, Transformations, and Joins" session.
Speakers:
Peter Moore, Josh Kalov, Roger Silva, Chris DeSisto
The State of Michigan is using Socrata Perspectives to step beyond data reporting and meet the data and communication needs of important stakeholders. Michigan recently rethought its open data strategy and is seeing valuable results from its new "bottom up" approach. Using the Socrata API, Perspectives pages, the RSocrata package, and a variety of other data visualization softwares, Departmental Analyst for the Michigan Dept. of Good Government, Justin Baker, will demonstrate how he addresses valuable business cases for a variety of stakeholders throughout the state. Topics of discussion will include creating department "scorecards" using Perspectives pages, creating interactive dashboards using R/RSocrata/Flexdashboards, and using basic analytics to make data-driven decisions.
Speakers:
Kevin Donohue, Justin Baker
In this informative, interactive panel discussion, hear from city and county government leaders and learn how they use performance management internally and externally to drive real change. The panel will be moderated by Socrata Product Manager Robin Rosenberg and feature Anna Roach, Chief Strategy Officer, County of Fulton, GA; Kimberly Olivares, Chief Performance Officer, City of Austin, TX; Melissa Bridges, Performance & Innovation Coordinator, City of Little Rock KS; and Laura Shearin, Business Administration Manager, City of Henderson, NV.
Speakers:
Anna Roach, Kimberly Olivares, Melissa Bridges, Laura Shearin, Robin Rosenberg
The USC Price Center for Social Innovation recently launched its Neighborhood Data for Social Change (NDSC) platform, designed to help residents of Los Angeles County neighborhoods advocate for a better quality of life. Now, the LA Department of Neighborhood Empowerment is teaching community members to use the platform. Hear how dynamic, up-to-date, interactive demographic data is inspiring economic growth and youth engagement.
Speakers:
Kimberly Rodriguez, Megan Goulding
12:20 pm - 1:20 pm

Lunch

Cloud technology will be the backbone infrastructure for more sustainable cities of the future, but you can start transforming your city today. AWS and our partner ecosystem can help you implement smart city solutions to support your goals around energy efficiency, air quality, intelligent transportation, public safety, public health, and other programs focused on improving quality of life for your citizens. What makes a city smart? Your data and your vision! By leveraging the multiple data sources that you have today and integrating additional datasets, you can design modern programs and services that make a city smart. Through sensors, connectivity, and analytics, AWS can help you begin your transformation.
Speakers:
Alexander (Alec) Chalmers
Organization-wide data standards make for much more powerful data programs. How can you best define common groundrules and get different departments to unite around them? Former Deputy CountyStat Manager for Prince George's County, Maryland, Alex Krughoff, will lead a panel discussion on the topic of data governance and current best practices.
Speakers:
Alexander Krughoff
Get best practices for developing a structured and effective performance management program that drives results.
Speakers:
Jeffrey Press
Discuss metadata best practices and learn what your peers are doing with metadata at their organizations. We'll cover ensuring high discoverability both externally and internally and enforcing standards across departments.
Speakers:
Alicia Brown, Andrew Deming, Nick Snider, Evan Allred, Roger Silva, Brad McCarty
The City of Henderson recently embarked on a journey to embed performance management in its organizational DNA, helping enable the city to make data-driven decisions and achieve performance excellence. Performance experts at the City will take you through their journey; sharing lessons learned, discoveries, and processes adopted and abandoned while building and implementing a tiered performance management system.
Speakers:
Christine Robinson, Bindu Venugopal
Data publishing continues to evolve at Socrata. Dataset creation and loading have been uncoupled, creating the ability to transform your data within the platform before it is published. This feature allows you to manipulate dates, locations, and geocoding capabilities. You can then join your datasets within the platform to combine existing datasets to achieve higher value. This session is nice companion to the "Automation: Dataset Updating and ETL Strategies" session.
Speakers:
Chris DeSisto, Jon Levy
2:05 pm - 2:35 pm
Main Stage
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) now produces an Annual Strategic Report every day of the year. Instead of prepping a 300-page document once a year for legislators and staff, UDOT's data on its most important initiatives is live and accessible to staff and decision-makers daily on the Socrata platform. Hear from UDOT Deputy Director Shane Marshall about the organization's move to single, shared access point for all operational data.
The issue of blight affects cities across the nation but some are finding more efficient and clever ways of dealing with it. Former Director of the New Orleans Office of Peformance and Accountability Oliver Wise will host a panel to highlight work done by city leaders who bring data from multiple sources to create lasting, cost-effective solutions.
Speakers:
Leigh Tami, Laura Settlemyer, Oliver Wise
2:35 pm - 3:20 pm

PM Break

3:25 pm - 4:10 pm
Main Stage
In this talk, Ben will discuss how he's traveled to dozens of cities throughout the country -- without ever leaving home. It's something he likes to call "Data Tourism." In his "travels", he's learned that while many cities share their data, each one has taken a different approach in the specifics of the data they share. From parking garage time stamps in Cedar Rapids to police officer's views on armadillos in Baton Rouge, he'll show how small bits of data can come together to reveal the unexpected. Along the way, he'll point out that data science need not always use complicated math. He'll show how he has used simple arithmetic to change policies in New York City. Often data science is more about curiosity and the questions we ask and the stories we tell than the complexity of the equations we use.
Speakers:
Ben Wellington
4:10 pm - 5:25 pm
Main Stage
Join Socrata's Chief Product Officer Saf Rabah as he unveils new Socrata products and features designed specifically for government executives and staff at all levels. Learn about the latest features added to Socrata's existing product line, and hear how your input inspired them. Plus, you'll get a sense of what is coming down the pipeline this year.
Speakers:
Safouen Rabah
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
6th Floor Ballroom
Always one of the best parts of Socrata Connect, our annual customer dinner is a celebration of the strides we've made as an industry and the friends we've made along the way. This year, we're hosting one of Austin's most infamous bands - The Spazmatics. Get your Member's Only jacket and hair crimper ready - this cover band is sure to have you rocking out to your favorite 80's hits. We can pretty much guarantee this will be our most memorable customer dinner yet.

Friday, May 18

7:00 am - 8:30 am

Registration opens

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Breakfast and Networking

Facing a massive wave of Baby Boomer retirement, Massachusetts Comptroller Tom Shack focused on technologies to create more efficient internal data sharing and analysis. Hear about CTHRU, the Commonwealth's financial data system that has surfaced fraud, dramatically simplified internal processes, and helps Shack team empower the media, citizens, and researchers with real-time information.
Speakers:
Tom Shack
8:40 am - 9:10 am
Main Stage
HHS CTO Bruce Greenstein envisions as world where, "Decisions are higher quality, more insightful, more efficient, and more impactful because data has been connected." Hear about his work at HHS on the opioid crisis where surfacing, sharing, and reviewing data from multiple sources has inspired novel approaches to our nation's epidemic.
Speakers:
Bruce Greenstein
When HHS CDO Mona Siddiqui designed a code-a-thon to address opioids she gathered together 70+ datasets and invited some of the brightest minds in the country. But, she could never have predicted what would come after that. Hear from Mona, Connecticut CDO Tyler Kleykamp, and Yale medical student Matthew Erlendson about how their interest in addressing opioids with data brought them together to create a product designed to save lives.
Speakers:
Mona Siddiqui, Tyler Kleyklamp, Matthew Erlendson, Matthew Hauler
9:50 am - 10:40 am

AM Break

11:15 am - 2:45 pm

Performance Community of Practice

Topeka, Kansas has one of the most sophisticated, efficient, digital infrastructure-tracking and reporting systems in the world. From the construction worker pouring concrete to the finance team updating actuals, every bit of data is fed into a project management system and hosted on Socrata where it can be analyzed, visualized, and measured. Hear the story of this tremendous, 7-month transformation from Topeka's Deputy IT Director Sherry Schoonover, hosted by Socrata Program Manager Justin Bruce.
Speakers:
Sherry Schoonover, Justin Bruce
The city of Nashville has been working to bring data education to all city staff in recent years, from the parks to fire and everyone in between. Hear from CIO Keith Durbin about why they're investing in data education, their approach to the process, and the outstanding outcomes they're seeing as more staffers bring data to their decisions.
Speakers:
Robyn Mace, Keith Durbin, Jessica Hilldorfer
Are you effectively transforming your data from numbers in a spreadsheet to maps, charts, graphs, and more? Data visualizations help your internal teams, as well as the citizens you serve, quickly understand the lessons in each dataset. Come prepared to share challenges and successes, and leave with tips and techniques to inspire creativity. This session will include automation options, mapping, and other best practices.
Speakers:
Ben Varon, Kyle Hall, Alicia Brown
Updating and monitoring metadata is often a time-consuming, manual task. But, with the new metadata API, doing programmatic updates and standardization can be a breeze. In this hands -on session, we will walk through the metadata API and how it can be used to manage metadata on the platform and off of it.
Speakers:
Peter Moore
Come hear from departments that are using internal data sharing to gather better insights, get a 360-degree view of their top problems, and improve service delivery. We'll also go over best practices for turning all of those insights into a relevant, compelling story for the public.
Speakers:
Bindu Venugopal, Christine Robinson
Dan Morgan, Chief Data Officer for the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), will walk through the process for developing the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Public Data Hub System that integrates multiple data sources using the Socrata metadata API to provide a one-stop shop for users to explore the USDOT’s ITS data. He will describe the challenges faced when developing a solution for storing streaming data for the Connected Vehicle Pilots – a program that will generate several terabytes of public facing data by its completion. Lastly, Dan will discuss the increased visibility and use of the data by the public and where to find the open source code developed for this hybrid system implementation.
Speakers:
Dan Morgan
While new sensors can bring in useful data and spark ideas, often the data you've already collected holds solutions for your toughest problems. Hear from Seattle's Smart City Coordinator Kate Garman and Open Data Program Manager David Doyle about their work to dig into and utilize their existing data to create a smarter Seattle.
Speakers:
Kate Garman, David Doyle
11:40 am - 12:25 pm

Lunch

The past few years have brought natural disasters at an alarming scale and frequency. Most governments are rethinking how they prepare for and respond to these events. How can you use data to prevent and manage these moments better? Hear from the Socrata team and City of Santa Rosa CIO Eric McHenry about the novel, high-impact ways that data hosted on Socrata helped with real-time housing needs during the Sonoma Fires and in the tracking recovery efforts, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Speakers:
Eric McHenry, Elliot Flautt
Lawsuits, taxi driver shifts, jammed streets - New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) is gathering, analyzing, sharing, and visualizing the millions of data points collected by taxis and ride-sharing companies every day. The density of cars in busy pick-up and drop-off areas, time stamps, percentage of shared rides per day, and other slices of the information are influencing decisions at the City. Hear what TLC is learning and what it can teach your town about improving transit flow.
Speakers:
Fausto Lopez
12:30 pm - 1:35 pm
Workshop 1
Get introduced to Socrata’s various API offerings by a panel of Socrata engineers and hear from government workers using APIs to improve their daily workflows. API discussion topics will include SODA / SoQL, discovery, alerts / webhooks, connectors, publishing, and transforms. Come with your questions!
Speakers:
Gregor Richardson, Elliot Flautt, Ayn Leslie-Cook, Chris Duranti
Service requests are a great way for local governments to receive input from residents and discover which services most need to be provided. The data can be used to monitor what is happening on the ground and understand your organization's responsiveness, performance, and resource allocation. Hear examples of how organizations are using the Socrata platform for internal data sharing and decision-making.
Speakers:
Bindu Venugopal, Chris DeSisto, Robyn Mace, Kirk McLean, Sherry Schoonover, Scott Robideux
Through successful case studies about policy and open data in Los Angeles, participants will learn specific tactics, protips, strategies, and best practices on how to create and present highly effective dashboards and workflows for government leaders and elected officials. The discussion and hands-on activities will be anchored around 5 specific points meant to surface Socrata features to build tools and visualizations that are appealing, engaging, and relevant for end-users. Amongst these will be maximizing Datalens layout abilities, setting up workflows through Data Sync, and working with other tools like Tableau and Google Sheets.
Speakers:
Juan Vasquez
What are best practices for organizations that want to combine internal peformance management and LEAN? Former Director of Innovation and Performance for the City of Jacksonville, Mississippi, Justin Bruce, will host a panel of performance management and LEAN experts. Learn proven, practical approaches for blending the two practices.
Speakers:
Justin Bruce
A system that took less that seven months to build and holds more than 20 million rows of data has saved the Commonwealth of Massachusetts millions of dollars. From eliminated manual data uploads to uncovering police employee overtime abuse, CTHRU has put the state's data to use in new ways. The site has streamlined processes, standardized and centralized data, and improved accessibility both internally and for the media, researchers, and watchdogs. Hear about the CTHRU team's approach and their tremendous ROI achieved.
Speakers:
Chris Guido
1:40 pm - 2:20 pm

PM Break

When State's Attorney General Kim Foxx of Cook County attended Chi Hack Night in Chicago, she made a pledge to boost transparency at her office. Within less that a year, her team had released six years of felony case data onto the Socrata platform, API-enabled and ready for use by researchers, advocates, and developers to use. Hear from Cook County State's Attorney's Office CDO Matthew Saniie on the how he led the project and the response received so far.
Speakers:
Matthew Saniie
What are the most efficient approaches to goal tracking in Socrata? Learn from some of the most clever and knowledgeable dashboarding wizards around. They use the Socrata platform as a base to connect a variety of tools and apps, plus plenty of data automation, that make tracking and measuring goals easier. This presentation will be moderated by Socrata Director of Customer Success Jessica Carsten and feature speakers from LA City Finance, State of Michigan, and City of Austin.
Speakers:
Justin Baker, Juan Vasquez, Nick Walker, Jessica Carsten
We’ll use design thinking and gamestorming techniques to learn from and collaborate with others in the performance management discipline. We’ll distill your most innovative ideas into interesting themes and common learnings. As a bonus, you’ll play a key role in influencing the user experience and product direction of the new Performance Optimization Cloud.
Speakers:
Catherine Ho
2:25 pm - 3:30 pm
Workshop 2
Please drop-in with your specific questions about creating or updating datasests and automating ETL processes. Our team will be on hand to answer, troubleshoot, and discuss any of the technical or program scenarios that you may have.
Speakers:
Chris DeSisto, Peter Moore, Alicia Brown
2:25 pm - 3:30 pm
Workshop 3
Socrata's Global Services Program Managers, Data Analysts, and Consultants are standing by to tackle your questions. Stop by during these office hours to work through an existing question or map out a plan forward for a new one.
Listen in as Buffalo, New York's Chief Service Officer & Director of Citizen Services Oswaldo "Oz" Mestre describes their Clean Sweep Initiative, a data-driven approach to street-by-street quality of life improvement for residents. Focused on areas with a high number or very low number of service calls, the program brings in police, fire, public health, education, and other departments in an all-at-once approach that produces tremendous results.
Speakers:
Oswaldo Mestre Jr.
San Bernardino County's Health Department won't let its strategic plan "sit on a shelf." Instead, it's working with staff to create internal performance dashboards for each group's goals. Hear how department director Trudy Raymundo led the initiative, worked to organize the data, and involved staffers throughout the process to boost buy-in.
Speakers:
Trudy Raymundo
3:35 pm - 3:45 pm

Closing Remarks

3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Happy Hour and Networking

*Please note times are subject to change slightly.