Enigma Opens Data!

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Posted on Mar 9, 2015

Enigma is a very cool company, and NYC Data Science Academy was fortunate enough to be visited last week by two of its data specialists, Destine Ozuygur, Data Solutions Lead and Raluca Dragusanum, a Data Scientist. To say that Enigma is in the business of open data is to understate what they do – Enigma actually opens up data. They consider themselves a search and discovery platform consolidating the “amazingly wide ocean” of open data in a single portal and finding connections. As their website says, “Enigma centralizes and connects thousands of siloes public databases.”

Some of the data available can be easily downloaded from other sites. This is an example of “it’s nice to have in one place” kind of data. But much of what Enigma does is gather “open” data that is not easily accessible. They do this in two ways. First, they crawl the web for “traces” that are not easily searchable. Second, they look for open data that is not actually on the web. One of the stories Destine told was of her interest in aggregating building permit data from the 50 largest US cities. This had to be done via pain staking phone calls and building relationships around the country.

The website is intuitively laid out, and all the data is available to be downloaded for free!!

Read the slides.

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