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Data-Driven Story Validates Gaping Pothole Problem

Oakland, California residents are spending hundreds of dollars in tire replacements. It’s not on account of long-distance trips. It’s become the steep cost of living and driving in Oakland. If you live here, you know potholes are an issue. Ever wanted to analyze public data to back up a hunch you had? Or ever consider an alternative universe where data is delivered to you daily that actually supports your “so-called” hunch? Folks, you can live this reality now. 

Identifying Pothole Fix Requests

Oakland partnered with SeeClickFix, a civic platform that operates throughout the United States, to enable citizens to report potholes online or through an app. Residents can also use traditional 311 phone lines to report potholes. Since Oakland has made the pothole request data publically available, we used Outlier’s automated business analysis platform to analyze public data from the last 6 months of SeeClickFix data. Today’s story shows where pothole requests were reported.

Reading Data-Driven Story Validates Gaping Pothole Problem
Reading Data-Driven Story Validates Gaping Pothole Problem

A spike happened on July 11th, when we see a significant increase in pothole requests from the same segment compared to the previous day, week and month. In the most recent day, the value of requests increased by 118%, which was 11% higher than the expected model. Why is it important to note that there was a higher than average number of requests when we already knew that there was a pothole problem in Oakland?

Have you ever needed to analyze public data to back up what you already knew? Outlier’s Root Cause Analysis feature showed which area of Oakland was experiencing a high number of unresolved pothole problems and could be used to prompt the City to focus on worse areas before others.

Reading Data-Driven Story Validates Gaping Pothole Problem
Reading Data-Driven Story Validates Gaping Pothole Problem

Outlier works by showcasing unusual patterns in data daily. In this case, the City could immediately see which areas have been reporting the presence of potholes more often. 

Want to nerd out on the impact of potholes more?

One way to quantify the quality of the streets in Oakland is by the Pavement Condition Index (PCI). On a standardized scale from 0 to 100, PCI measures road surface conditions. The effort is coordinated every year with the California State Association of Counties and almost 100% of the roads in California are surveyed. Oakland, for years, has been rated by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the regional transportation planning organization for the Bay Area, close to the bottom of road quality.  In comparison to others in the Bay Area, Oakland’s roads have an average score in the 50s, while other Bay Area roads average closer to 70. What’s more, is that the score of Oakland’s roads is steadily declining.

Outlier empowers organizations to take a deeper look at their data and uncover unexpected trends that can lead to protecting the public’s safety. Sign up for a custom demo to hear more about how Outlier can help organizations keep their communities safe.