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Kat Hartman, director of data strategy and analytics, Detroit

What have you accomplished in your role that you want people to know about?

The thing that I am most excited about is establishing better data governance over our geospatial data sets. We have taken to calling them affectionately the base units. All the core, unique IDs that are used to connect geospatial data sets together, so you might think of it as an address or a street, but we think of it as many, many extra layers to that. Not only is there a street address, but there is the unit address, the parcel, the building footprint, all of the above go into describing something as simple as a street address. And there’s sort of a similar taxonomy for what we’re calling the right of way, what happens in between the land.

What’s something about data and analytics that you think other people in government should know about, especially non-technical folks?

I actually went to art school, so I am coming at this from a storytelling/visual-design lens. I am really interested in how do you get people understanding the value of data? One of the key ways I approach that is by helping folks tell stories with data, that they need to get out there, how to talk about data in a way that speaks to specific departmental needs. Often there’s a visual component to that.

What’s your 2022 prediction?

The City of Detroit is going to be tackling a lot of projects that were sort of dream projects. We’re going to be tackling them a lot sooner as a direct result of our American Rescue Plan Act. I’m really excited about all of the transformational work we’re going to be able to do with that funding.

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