Below is our recent interview with Stephen Hardy, Chief Executive Officer at mySidewalk:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: mySidewalk is a data company founded on the belief that every organization has a right to accurate, timely and relevant data about the places they live and the people they serve. In other words, our mission is to democratize data.
mySidewalk offers a suite of products designed to break down the barriers to harnessing and leveraging community data. This allows users of all backgrounds to amplify their story with a variety of tools, data indicators and more. We serve various audiences, including individuals and organizations within the Public Health, Transportation, Public Safety, Community Development and Healthcare sectors.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: mySidewalk recently announced a new partnership with the National League of Cities (NLC). We’re really excited to work with NLC and its member cities to bring community data to local governments to improve towns and cities across the country. NLC member cities will receive trial access to Seek, our data curation tool. This gives member cities an opportunity to explore Seek firsthand and learn how it can empower their communities.
As part of the NLC partnership, we’re also starting a six-part webinar series, “Unlocking the Power of Community Data in Your City.” We’ll cover important yet challenging topics, such as climate risk and resiliency, the economy, equitable federal funding and housing. We’re excited to bring in guest speakers to share their experiences with Seek and how the data tool affected their neighborhood.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: Our data library WhereHouse contains over 2 billion data points from over 40 sources, all structured and organized to give our customers unparalleled insight into the places they live and the people they serve. You can license WhereHouse directly, and it also powers our suite of powerful tools that help users harness the power of community data.
Seek is a tool to help people search, query, and download from our data library WhereHouse so that they can quickly find answers and learn about their communities. Chart is a data visualization tool that helps users make data accessible through visualizations including maps, graphs, correlations, charts and digital publishing tools. Press is our suite of data storytelling tools that help our customers create a compelling narrative that’s informed by data. Press shares dynamic, curated data stories, allowing users to explore topical insights of designated regions, zip codes, cities or towns, and it’s powered by all of our expertise and experience as former planners, health department directors, and public servants.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: mySidewalk is always working on noteworthy projects. One I’m really excited about is a project to add property data to WhereHouse, our data library. It’s really exciting because it adds a whole new domain of data to our already impressive library. We’ve always been able to tell you a lot about the social conditions of the places you care about, and now we can combine that with information about the built environment, which makes a lot of powerful insights possible. Things like helping fire departments proactively manage risk down to the neighborhood level by understanding not only who lives there, but what kinds of structures are there, how old they are, and what they’re built of. Or helping hospital networks get a 360-degree view of both the social determinants of health and the built environment of neighborhoods in their service area to make more informed decisions about where to target community resources for the greatest impact.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: In many ways, just like the examples I gave above, mySidewalk is genuinely powering transformative change across the country. We’re helping people tackle some of the biggest challenges you can imagine. Two projects we recently worked on, our Community Resilience Toolkit and our Vaccine Hesitancy Index for Wyandotte County, are both examples of how community data can help organizations understand how big, daunting things like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic affect their communities, and then critically, take informed action to try and meet those challenges. Both of those efforts won awards from The Opportunity Project and the Open Data for Good Grand Challenge. We were also just recognized this January in the 2022 GovTech 100 list. The annual list compiles 100 companies that are making a difference in local and state government agencies around the United States.