A new kind of public institution, the world’s first data utility
Applied Research in Government Operations (ARGO) is a startup nonprofit that builds, operates, and maintains pioneering data infrastructure to transform how water reliability, street quality, and other basic public services are delivered. ARGO's Kraken platform powers the modernization of several mission critical domains of local government operations:
Through the California Data Collaborative (CaDC), ARGO is integrating key California water data into a nonprofit data warehouse. The project's research and analytics supports water managers who participate in the CaDC to ensure water reliability into an uncertain future. With over a thousand local water utilities and countless more other institutions, this digital integration is key for California's future.
ARGO is assembling pioneering local transit agencies, public works departments, leading urban planners and mobility technology experts to form a Streets Data Collaborative (StDC). The StDC will support cities in navigating the challenges of aging infrastructure and the epochal shift to autonomous vehicles through low cost sensors, integrated planning and advanced analytics.
Cross jurisdictional data infrastructure not only allows municipalities to rapidly design and deploy software and research, but also to pool transdisciplinary talent and resources to achieve economies of scale in how we manage basic public services. ARGO is expanding our data collaborative model to address homelessness, education, and beyond.
Similar to water or electricity, ARGO believes public data is a public resource that deserves technocratic excellence and needs to be stewarded for the public good.
Uniquely, ARGO isn’t yet another tech company pitching software products but rather has a demonstrated track record helping local governments build capacity and leverage civic data science talent through a nonprofit shared services model. ARGO operates as a fiscally sponsored project through the National Center for Civic Innovation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit incubator.
ARGO’s data scientists have worked in-the-trenches in New York University’s Administrative Data Research Facility, led urban technology initiatives at New York’s New Lab hardware technology incubator, and delivered automated data parsing pipelines for a $50 million startup (Enigma Technologies) that powers the world’s most comprehensive repository of public data.
Taming the Kraken
While utilizing best-in-class technology proven in leading companies like Amazon and Airbnb, ARGO understands the unique challenges and opportunities that occur while operating in the public sector.
ARGO named it's battle-tested public data platform "Kraken" given the almost mythological character that information technology system integration projects can take on in the complexity of the public sector.