IBM City Forward: Creating Data Visualizations for Urban Policy and Analysis

Client: IBM
Faculty: Melissa Kaplan-Macey
Team: Adam Attar, Nancy Chang, Matthew McKeon­Slattery, Christine Paglialunga, Hillary Stuchin
Year: 2011
IBM has a longstanding history of techno­logical excellence and innovation. Its Corporate Citizenship division has recently launched the Smarter Cities Challenge, inviting cities across the world to apply for funding and technical assistance grants. Part of this portfolio includes City Forward, IBM's newly released, free online public data comparison tool. The Capstone team piloted the tool before and after its release, providing IBM with perspective on the user experience. As part of the analysis of City Forward, the team developed evaluation criteria, including user experience, aes­thetics, accessibility, data availability, and visualization best practices. The Capstone team gathered research through market analysis, interviews with leaders in the field of data visualization, and a literature review. The team provided IBM with a report documenting this research along with recommendations on how to transform City Forward into a more useful tool for practitioners of urban policy and planning.