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Data

Ben Wellington: How we found the worst place to park in New York City — using big data

City agencies have access to a wealth of data and statistics reflecting every part of urban life. But as data analyst Ben Wellington suggests in this entertaining talk, sometimes they just don't know what to do with it. He shows how a combination of unexpected questions and smart data crunching can produce strangely useful insights, and shares tips on how to release large sets of data so that anyone can use them.

Ben Wellington blends his love of statistics, the city, and comedy in his entertaining analysis of the story of New York City, told through data.

Ben Wellington runs the I Quant NY blog, in which he crunches city-released data to find out what's really going on in the Big Apple. To date he has tackled topics such as measles outbreaks in New York City schools, analyzed how companies like Airbnb are really doing in NYC, and asked questions such as "does gentrification cause a reduction in laundromats?" (Answer: inconclusive.)

Ben is a visiting assistant professor in the City & Regional Planning program at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn; his day job involves working as a quantitative analyst at the investment management firm, Two Sigma. A budding comedian and performer, he also teaches team building workshops through Cherub Improv, a non-profit that uses improv comedy for social good.

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