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How New York is releasing its 'big data' to the public

The huge amounts of data being stored and analysed around the world is under increasing scrutiny.

But New York City is using more data than ever in an attempt to improve life for its residents.

BBC correspondent Jonny Dymond reports from the city on the amount of "big data" currently available.

Rahul Merchant, New York City's data commissioner, spoke of a revolution in accountability: "With vision of open government and transparency, we passed one of the toughest laws that required all of us and the city agencies to put out thousands of pieces of data for public consumption."

Mike Flowers, who runs New York City's office of policy and strategic planning, explained: "What we are trying to do is take all of the information that we as a city collect on a day-to-day basis... and synthesise it to do something useful."

Joel Natividad from, an organisation which has created an encyclopaedia from compiling New York's data, explained: "Data is data. It's really how you use it."

First broadcast on the Today programme on Saturday 12 October.

  • 12 Oct 2013