Learn more about what makes DataSF tick

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower use of data. At DataSF, we seek to transform the way the City works through the use of data. We believe use of data and evidence can improve our operations and the services we provide. This ultimately leads to increased quality of life and work for San Francisco residents, employers, employees and visitors.

Our Vision

We are a data-driven City. Leadership and employees use data to continuously improve City services and operations. City staff has the support, skills and capacity to collect, manage, and use data effectively and efficiently. Our data is understood, documented and of high quality. Our data infrastructure provides data that is usable, timely, and accessible. Published data supports broad and unanticipated uses of City Data and supports trust, transparency and accountability.

How We Work

  1. Say no to perfection and fail early and often. Do not make perfect the enemy of good. Use small experiments and learn from failures.
  2. Plan for the future and seek institutional homes. Solve problems in a way that creates infrastructure for the future. Find a full-time home for what works.
  3. Use long division. If a problem seems too big, break it into manageable bits. There’s always a way to move something forward.
  4. No ugly, old IT. Use modern and lightweight tools. Make designs beautiful and inviting but also a little fun.
  5. Use storytelling and data. Find the people in the data and tell their story. Data without stories is just academic.
  6. Put people, design and needs first (data and technology second). Start with empathy and use design to guide our work.
  7. Continuously learn and listen with humility. Learn from ourselves and others and build on existing work. “Not invented here” attitudes prohibited.
  8. Start with problems, move to opportunities. Start with people's needs and problems and use the chance to demonstrate cool, new stuff for the future.
  9. Be friendly and have fun. Sometimes our work is tough. Take time to breathe, celebrate progress and recognize that we get to work on amazing problems.
  10. If we don’t start now, we’ll never get there. Don’t look back in five years and think “if we had just…”. Every shady street started with a row of saplings.
Track our progress
Read our Strategic Plan
Track our plan milestones

Read our Quarterly Reports

Who we are

Core data team

Joy Bonaguro, Chief Data Officer

Joy Bonaguro's picture

Joy Bonaguro is the first Chief Data Officer for the City and County of San Francisco, where she manages the City’s open data program. Joy has spent more than a decade working at the nexus of public policy, data, and technology. She worked from the birth of the open data and open government field, spending seven years designing and managing the development of information systems to support planning and decision-making at the Greater New Orleans Community Data. Prior to joining the City, Joy worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to help develop technology, cyber and privacy policy working closely with both the National Lab CIO Council and the Department of Energy Information Management Advisory Group. Joy earned her Masters from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, where she focused on IT policy.

Jason Lally, Open Data Program Manager

Jason Lally's picture

Jason Lally is the Open Data Program Manager, working with the City’s Chief Data Officer, Joy Bonaguro, to help operationalize the City’s data strategy. Jason comes to the City by way of a Mayor’s Innovation Fellowship that wrapped up in August 2014. Before that, he worked at the intersection of technology and urban planning as Director of the Decision Lab at PlaceMatters in Denver, CO. He came to open government and open data through his work in cities and regions across the country on data-informed, community planning processes. Recognizing a need for more robust information services and platforms to support strong community engagement, Jason is pleased to contribute to making data more accessible and useful at the City. Jason earned his Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Erica Finkle, ShareSF Program Manager

Erica Finkle's picture

Erica Finkle is the ShareSF Program Manager, working to support efficient, effective, consistent, secure and appropriate means for cross-departmental and cross-jurisdictional data sharing; with the aim of maturing the City’s capacity to leverage data so that residents can experience services that are more effective, holistic, and integrated. Erica comes to the City’s data team by way of her Masters research project, which focused on internal data sharing in San Francisco and provided the foundations for the ShareSF initiative. Erica previously worked as Budget Manager in the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector. Before joining the City, she worked internationally as an attorney representing foreign governments, corporate entities and financial institutions on complex, multinational financial and corporate matters. Erica earned her MPP from the University of Oxford and her JD from Columbia Law School.

Janine Heiser, Open Data Services Engineer

Janine Heiser's picture

Janine Heiser is the Open Data Services Engineer working to help design and implement a scalable framework for accessing and publishing data across the City. In her technologist role, she enjoys applying user-centered design methodologies to the process of creating and implementing new data products and services. Prior to joining the DataSF team, Janine worked as an engineer on data infrastructure and software projects at a variety of organizations including the Democratic Party, a digital music distribution company and the UC Bancroft Library. Janine earned her Masters degree in Information Management and Systems from the UC Berkeley School of Information.

Open Data Services Team, Department of Technology

Our open data program relies on the timely automation and publication of data. The Department of Technology’s GIS team is a key partner in making this work.

Jeff Johnson, Manager, SFGIS and Open Data Services

Jeff Johnson's picture

Jeff Johnson manages San Francisco’s Enterprise GIS Program at the Department of Technology, and has worked with the City’s Open Data platform since its inception. Over the past several years, he has provided extract, transform and load (ETL) services for City departments, and has become an expert in the use of Safe Software’s FME. Jeff has built extensive set of institutional knowledge, gained from over 20 years’ experience with the City, and has developed relationships with fellow GIS practitioners and other clients across a wide variety of City departments. A transplanted East Coaster and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he relishes the technical opportunities available working in the beautiful Bay Area for the City and County of San Francisco.

Samuel Valdez, Enterprise GIS Engineer

Samuel Valdez's picture

Samuel Valdez has been an Enterprise GIS Engineer with the City and County of San Francisco's Enterprise GIS Program (SFGIS) since 2006. He brings over 30 years of software development, information technology, and GIS experience to the organization, which he gained while working for firms of all sizes, including several start-ups, and over five years with Oracle Corporation. More recently, he has expanded his career interests to include Python development, spatial system architecture, complex event processing, local government operations, and the ITIL Service Lifecycle. Before joining the City, Sam consulted on GIS and IT projects for local natural resource management organizations, and was employed with the California Department of Health Services' Environmental Health Investigations Branch. His information technology and GIS skills and experience have been applied to the following programs and major projects at the City: the Enterprise GIS Program, enterprise-class GIS infrastructure design and deployment, the Open Data Program, and fiber and telecommunications asset management.

Brian Quinn, Architect/Analyst SFGIS Program

Brian Quinn's picture

Brian Quinn is the Architect/Analyst for SFGIS, helping to modernize GIS infrastructure from systems to enterprise datasets. He likes to help users find the most GIS enjoyment from the least effort, and loves 3D virtual worlds. A geophysicist who gave up oil to stay in San Francisco, Brian's perspective is informed by more than a decade of experience in each of academic research, private sector GIS, and public sector GIS, with international field sites, plus East- and North Bay agencies. Brian holds a Rock Physics Ph.D. from Stanford and is a Certified GIS Professional.

Data Coordinators

Our data coordinators are responsible for coordinating the implementation of the open data work in their departments. Without their department knowledge and help, SF OpenData would not be possible.

Controller’s Citywide Services Auditor (CSA)

We’ve partnered with the performance team in CSA on a variety of projects, including the Data Academy, Stat program research, and internal data sharing. Big shoutouts go to:

  • Sherman Luk, Jessie Rubin and Sam Abbott for developing and managing Data Academy
  • Jessie Rubin and Andrew Ju for their excellent research and work on best practices in performance management and “Stat” programs
  • Kyle Patterson, Laura Marshall, Kyra Sikora and Luke Feller for their amazing research, convening and strategy work to promote effective internal data sharing through ShareSF

Awesome Interns

We’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing people on a short term basis. Their efforts have been key to moving some of our projects forward.

  • Sam Dorward, Fall 2015-Spring 2016. Sam joined us as part of an externship through Bain Consulting and knocked it out of the park conducting analytics work on tax compliance, fire inspections and evictions and created Advanced Excel for Data Academy.
  • Christina Malamut, Summer 2015. Christina joined us to help us research what it would take to improve public records requests in San Francisco, individual access to private data, and data about homelessness.
  • Laura Gerhardt, Spring 2015. Laura joined us as part of completing her Master’s in Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She researched and assessed how to best realize the value in housing inspections data across three City departments.
  • Charlotte Hill, Dan Wilcox, Evgenia Likhovtseva, and Marcelo Milanello, Spring 2015. As part of a client class project, this graduate team at UC Berkeley investigated options for data or technology partnerships with external groups.
  • Erica Finkle, Summer 2014. Erica joined us in Summer 2014 and provided the core research and basis for our project on streamlined internal data sharing. In a few short weeks, she reviewed and summarized the privacy laws facing SF, reviewed best practices in other jurisdictions, and provided a set of recommendations. Her work was put to immediate use and accelerated our learning curve.
  • Peri Weisberg, Summer 2014. Peri joined us in Summer 2014 and hit the ground running by informing the data categories on SF OpenData, helping us identify the best data licensing approach, and surveying metadata practices. Her core project was creating an evaluation framework for our open data program - something that had not been created to date. Most of her work is available on our resources page.