In the real estate press, we see more and more articles touting the power of data, specifically big data and open data, to change our understanding of the world around us. New York City participates in this movement with a program called NYC Open Data. Although knowing the language of statistics is becoming more and more important, most of us are not statisticians, but people who are, such as Ben Wellington, Visiting Assistant Professor in the City & Regional Planning program at the Pratt Institute, can enlighten us. He runs a blog called I Quant NY with the purpose of "telling a story one data set at a time." (Follow him on Twitter: @iquantny.)
Professor Wellington's in-depth analysis of data sets cover city flood zones, the most ticketed parking spaces (fixed), and why $19.05 should be your purchase amount at the MetroCard machine. My favorite thus far is about Medicare's huge massage-therapy payments to the Brighton Beach area—the punch line is that Medicare doesn't even cover massage therapy. Of course, a picture tells the story even better: see map of payments for massage therapy using Medicate data from 2012.
The stories in I Quant are sure to enlighten, enrage, and possibly force our city agencies or citizens to take action, and some have. He follows up with stories about responses from agencies depicted in his posts. Below, is a listing of the most recent articles from the blog.