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Innovation Defined: What Is a Data Inventory?

Any city leader who’s keen to use data to drive smart decisions has faced the same problem before: They know a certain dataset must exist somewhere in city hall’s computers. But where? A growing number of cities are solving that problem by creating something called a data inventory. Essentially, it’s a list—or, often a spreadsheet—of all the datasets the city has. It also would include other key information like who owns the data, how frequently its updated, and whether there are privacy considerations associated with it. Here Johns Hopkins University’s Centers for Civil Impact lay out all the ins and outs of how to create a data inventory.

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