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City of Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) and Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT)

The Center for Business Analytics is pleased to recognize the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) and Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) as an honoree of the 2023 Drexel LeBow Analytics 50 Awards. Read more about how OIA and OIT used analytics to solve a business challenge.


Kistine Carolan, Senior Program Manager


City of Philadelphia OIA and OIT



Business Challenge

The Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) must coordinate data collection on language usage from 5+ vendors and 80+ city agencies. In this work, the office faced three challenges:

  • The data management process became onerous, which took time away from core program work and advocacy efforts.
  • Scattered data requests required OIA to create one-off analytics reports, disrupting workflows and requiring duplicative calculations.
  • City employees lacked awareness of the free interpretation services. The community mistrusted how much the city was actually providing language services and the diversity of languages represented. Researchers, city council members, language advocates and more had trouble accessing OIA’s PDF-based reports on language services usage, which they needed to inform research, legislation and more. The reports also lacked engaging and easy-to-understand visualizations of the data.

Analytics Solution

As data and technology experts, the Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) developed the Language Usage Dashboard in collaboration with OIA, the data owners and subject-matter experts on language services. OIA uses the dashboard to streamline data management, using it in working meetings with 80+ city agencies. OIA replaced manual analysis and email-based coordination with the dashboard, creating internal efficiencies. The dashboard promotes community trust by making the data accessible, engaging and interactive. It supports advocacy efforts, both by those in the public who are requesting services and internally when OIA and departments use it during budget planning. Lastly, having this data public promotes healthy competition among vendors, increasing the quality of customer experience.


The dashboard saves more than 2.2 months annually of OIA staff time previously spent on tedious data coordination that can instead be devoted to core program and equity work. It vastly increases the city’s consistency in data reported to the public and leadership by having it available in a centralized dashboard. The city also shared the underlying data that powers the dashboard as open data so that other researchers, journalists, students, advocates and more can use it for their own analyses. Through the visibility of this inter-departmental collaborative product, the city increases its commitment to residents to provide quality language services. Moreover, the dashboard serves as an accountability channel to ensure that the contracted translation and interpretation vendors report their data consistently to the city while improving quality of services, providing affordable pricing, reducing response time to connect with interpreters and establishing a wider pool of linguists to be prepared to provide the requested services in any language.