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March 4, 2020

Crime in Chicago: What’s the story?

By: Dan Platt

At Narrative Science, we are storytellers. Up until now, our technology has mostly been telling stories about the commercial environment, giving sales data, pipeline updates and the like. 

However, we are passionate about using our technology to tell stories that have an impact. We want to tell stories about all different kinds of data. Therefore, we are starting a series of demos across all industries and sectors. This is the first one.

Chicago Crime Data

I have always been a believer that stories can help keep citizens more informed about their neighborhoods, city and what is going on around them. We took crime data from the  Chicago Open Data Portal and created stories about it with Lexio.

Cities like Chicago make this data available to anyone who wants to look at it or build applications with it. A Data Lens page in the Chicago portal looks like this:

Chicago Crime Data

While the information contained in these graphics is useful and the portal allows for interactions with this data, it would be hard for a not-data-trained citizen to understand. I would guess most of them aren’t but want to understand the data.

We let everyone understand

We wanted to demonstrate what the experience would look like in Lexio:

 

Lexio Image

You can play around with these stories in our Lexio Interactive Demo but I wanted to highlight a few key features of Lexio and how they can be best used to explore the data:

  • Time frame Selectors: In Lexio, you can easily choose different slices of time to examine the data. Choose to look at ‘Last’ or ‘This’ week, quarter, month or week
  • Filter: If you are interested in your particular community area or police district, you can use Lexio filters to choose your own view of the data.
  • Breakdown: By default, we show a bar chart of crimes broken down by neighborhood. You can choose to break down the data by other attributes such as ‘was there an arrest?’ or what type of crime, location or block.

These stories are FREE

They always will be. Check them out, and get more informed about crime in your neighborhood (if you are a Chicagoan). Over the next few months, we will be adding more and more datasets like this one to keep citizens like you more informed.

Do you have a dataset you’d like to see in a story? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

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