Mayor Coleman has announced the launch of Open Information Saint Paul, the City of Saint Paul’s new open information portal. This portal provides unprecedented access for Saint Paul residents and stakeholders to view, download, and use City information and data.
With the launch of Open Information Saint Paul, Saint Paul joins a movement of cities across the nation to improve transparency and enable better decision-making through the publication of data online in a central, user-friendly portal.
Open Information Saint Paul will expand and evolve over time in response to feedback from its users, including the public and City staff. Visit information.stpaul.gov to view data on budgets, demographics of the City’s workforce, public building locations, and more. Send us your feedback on our open information portal so we can continue to make improvements.
Open Information Saint Paul — FAQ
Why does the City of Saint Paul call it open information instead of open data?
We want to make public data available in a format that facilitates transparency, accountability, and public participation and understanding. We believe data by itself is only useful to a small number of people who are highly literate in technology and numbers, whereas data presented in charts, graphs, and other visual formats offers information for the broader public. Raw data sets will always be available on our site and we will always strive to go beyond to provide true information.
How did you choose the data sets included in the launch?
For the initial launch we decided to include data sets that are among the most in demand for cities across the country. We also included data sets that were already on the City’s website but were in formats that were not machine readable.
How can I request a new data set on the portal?
A new data set can be suggested right on the portal. On the portal, select "Suggest a Dataset", fill out the form and submit your request. Each data request will be evaluated to determine if it’s a good fit for the open information portal or if that request should be addressed individually by the department where the data resides.
Data Practices Requests is listed in the navigation bar of the information portal for more formal data requests.
When will more data be released on the portal?
We are continuing to focus on the most in demand data sets and additional data will be released based on requests from City departments and the public.
How are data sets prioritized for publication on the portal?
Initially the City of Saint Paul is focused on the most in demand data sets for cities across the country and moving data that already exists on the public website in non-machine readable formats. We have also worked with City departments to understand their most in demand data sets. The portal launch is Phase I of the Open Information Saint Paul project. Phase II will include further defining our governance and prioritization process to support the portal as demand for it grows.
How long will it take to respond to a request for a new data set on the portal?
This will be unique for each data set. Requests will be reviewed based on the effort of obtaining the data in a clean, complete, and updated form, as well as any relevant data privacy concerns.
Does Saint Paul use data for decision-making beyond the Open Information portal?
The City of Saint Paul’s open information portal is part of a larger data management program designed to turn data into usable information across the City. The open information portal is displaying the output of that larger initiative. The City of Saint Paul is building out a full business intelligence capability to provide data to decision makers when and where they need it, which includes our open information portal.