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Big Data and Broken Windows

Daniel O’Brien has a fondness for opening Public Policy students’ eyes to the many ways they can use Big Data to explore the behavioral and social dynamics of urban neighborhoods. “Everyone in urban research really needs to have the skills to engage with Big Data; it’s the new ecosystem we’re living in,” he says.

He challenges students to harness the power of data streams from sources such as the Census, 911 and 311 calls and building permits, and to explore such big-picture questions as, “How does a city deal with the challenges of housing a few million people in a relatively small area? O’Brien sees the plethora of available data to be nothing short of a game-changer when it comes to being able to create meaningful policy changes and effective public programs.

Read the full story about O’Brien’s current work, including projects as research director for the Boston Area Research Initiative, which brings together local researchers, policymakers and practitioners, and his research on “broken windows,” which was recently featured as a leading article in news@Northeastern.

Published On: September 14, 2015 |
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