2015 Spring Data Jam Top 5: The Ellis School Team B

What follows is the first in a series of  postings about the top five teams from the Spring 2015 Pittsburgh Data Jam as determined by the Data Jam panel of judges. This posting describes what the teams set out to do, how they did it, and what insight they were able to draw from the data that they evaluated. 

Are there Correlations Between Pittsburgh Area Liquor Licenses and Crime Rate?

In our first profile, The Ellis School 'Team B' proposed to examine the correlation between the number of bars in the Pittsburgh area with the rate of crime, specifically theft.

In May 2014, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wrote an article, which stated that Pittsburgh had the largest ratio of bars per person in the entire U.S.  The Ellis School 'Team B' was interested in identifying what potential effects this statistic had on Pittsburgh's reported rates of theft and robbery. They suspected that areas with more liquor licenses might have elevated crime rates. Was this true? 

For the number and location of the bars, they reviewed data from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Using its website's advanced search capabilities, they identified the number of active liquor licenses in Allegheny County municipalities.

The Ellis Team B poster showing the results of their Spring 2015 Data Jam project. 

The Ellis Team B poster showing the results of their Spring 2015 Data Jam project. 

For the theft portion of their proposal, they analyzed data from the Pennsylvania State Police Reporting website. The data found there listed robberies by municipality, which enabled their team to analyze both data sets together and determine if there was a statistical correlation. 

"We actually thought we would find that in areas where there were more liquor licenses there would be more robberies."

— Team member, The Ellis School 'Team B'
Spring 2015 Pittsburgh Data Jam

What they discovered, however, was that areas that had fewer liquor licenses tended to have more theft. 

The team recommended a blue light system, which is something similar, they stated, to systems that college campuses have used to do deal with crime: one can press a button on a pole, which activates a blue light, when help is needed. 

The Data Jam judges agreed: The Ellis School 'Team B' provided a better understanding of how the number of bars impacted the and crime rates in Pittsburgh area municipalities and were therefore worthy of a Top 5 finish at the Spring 2015 Pittsburgh Data Jam. Way to rock the data - Ellis School Team B.  

Watch A YouTube Video...

The Ellis School Team B explains their findings at the Spring 2015 Pittsburgh Data Jam Finale, which was held on Tue., April 28 at the University Club in the heart of the University of Pittsburgh. 

The Ellis School 'Team B' - Members

  • Christina Ambrosino
  • Korryn Resetar
  • Madeleine (Pei Pei) Barth Wu
  • Leela Cañuelas-Puri
  • Sanjana Adurty
  • Samantha Syme
  • Rachel Cherian
  • Genell Jasper
  • Emily Mazur
  • Taylor Robinson

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Other Spring 2015 Data Jam Top 5 Finishers

Where To Learn More About the Spring 2015 Pittsburgh Data Jam?