Class Projects - Fall 2013


DataTrack Chicago is a web-based application that offers detailed statistical analysis of Chicago’s government data.

What it does

DataTrack Chicago accesses datasets at the City of Chicago Data Portal and finds the most noteworthy observations. Limited to transportation and crime data currently, DataTrack provides an accessible analysis by displaying bullet pointed observations, graphs and data tables. The user is able to choose from four different subsets: most recent data, long-term trends, streaks and basic statistics. The program was built for journalists looking to write stories that include heavy data analysis, but could provide meaningful information to anyone interested in Chicago data.

How it works

DataTrack uses PHP to retrieve data about specified datasets from the City of Chicago Data Portal. The tool then parses the data to draw conclusions about newsworthy trends and makes it appear in the browser. Twitter Bootstrap, JavaScript and jQuery separate the data into different tabs and display it into a readable format.

Next Steps
  • Add additional datasets
  • Web-based GUI to add additional datasets
  • Automated check-ins on the datasets for new information
  • Improve selection of newsworthy stories in data
  • Expand to monthly, weekly, and non-time series data
  • Expand to additional markets


 Student team: Amon Jones, Michael McCarthy, Thomas M. Saxton

Faculty guidance: Larry Birnbaum, Rich Gordon