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mySidewalk Glossary

Learn the words and definitions you need to know to navigate our Platform and create your own Dashboard and Reports.

Jennifer Funk avatar
Written by Jennifer Funk
Updated over a week ago

We want to make sure that nothing is getting lost in translation, so we've included this glossary to help unblur anything that might be slowing you down or causing any confusion.

To search this page, press Command+F or Ctrl+F. This will bring up a dialogue box for you to start your search. Did we miss something? Reach out to us if you're looking for a word that didn't make the list! We're always looking to help you learn so you can do more.

Accessibility Description - An accessibility description is text that describes graphics to those who are visually impaired. To learn more about accessibility descriptions in mySidewalk click here.

ADA - The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. ADA also provides standards for accessibility, including for websites. The mySidewalk Platform, including reports, dashboards, and embedded assets, is fully ADA compliant.

Alarm Handling - Elapsed time from when call was answered in dispatch to when emergency vehicles are dispatched to the call.

Availability - We talk about data that is 'Available for' specific geographies or regions. When you are looking for quality data, check your geography selections to make sure you like what is selected and you can get the data you want at that level. Don't be afraid to try a new geography (like zip codes instead of counties) to see what else is available.

Bins - In the mySidewalk Platform, bins are what we call “classes,” “groups,” or a “range” when we are classifying data to be visualized.  

Break Methodology (data classification) - Break methodology is the way a dataset is divided for visual display. There are four different types of break methodology available for classifying data in the mySidewalk platform including natural breaks, equal interval, equal count, and custom. 

Bar Chart - A bar chart is a diagram in which the numerical values of variables are represented by the height or length of rectangles of equal width.

Categorical Data - Categorical Data is data consisting of numbers that have been collected in groups or categories

Callout - A callout is a large, graphic data visualization that provides one number for each selected geography, labels the geography it is displaying, provides space for a data label, and labels the unit. 

Census block - The smallest unit of geography gathered by the United States Census for tabulation.

Census tract - The second smallest unit of geography gathered by the United States Census for tabulation. A census tract is a combination of census blocks containing a population between 2,500 and 8,000 people.

Choropleth Map - A map that uses differences in shading and coloring within predefined areas to indicate the average or a range of values in those areas.

Color Ramp - A color ramp, otherwise known as a color gradient, specifies a range of colors.

Community Health Assessment (CHA) - A fundamental tool of public health practice. Its aim is to describe the health of the community, by presenting information on health status, community health needs, resources, and epidemiological and other studies of current local health problems. mySidewalk provides a CHA template that is built on best practices and years of experience in building these.

Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) - A long-term, systematic effort to address public health problems in a community. It is based on the results of community health assessment activities, and is one step in a process to improve community health. mySidewalk has a process to deliver a CHIP to your community, read more here.

Community Risk Assessment Insights Generator (CRAIG) - A game-changing suite of community risk assessment (CRA) dashboard tools powered by mySidewalk uniquely aligned with NFPA 1300. These tools will enable you to quickly and easily generate and visualize all-around insights into the unique risks, hazards, and capacities in your community for a more effective data-informed risk reduction plan with community stakeholder buy-in. Read more here.

Component -  A component is anything you add to a mySidewalk dashboard or report. If you add a data visualization, text, or even a title, it is considered a component. Components are anything you add using the blue teardrop icon in the mySidewalk Platform. 

Concentration Total Response Time - Elapsed time from when call was answered in dispatch to when the Effective Response Force in its entirety arrives on scene. 

Concentration Travel Time - Elapsed time from when the first Effective Response Force (ERF) apparatus goes enroute to when the last ERF apparatus arrives on scene.

Crosstab - Crosstab is the tool the mySidewalk team uses to process your data. Crosstab allows us to divide and reference data based on different categories in the raw datafile.  

CSM - Customer Success Manager, this person is the liaison between your team and the mySidewalk team.

CSV - A Comma-Separated Values (CSV) is a simple file format used to store tabular data, such as a spreadsheet or database. Files in the CSV format can be imported to and exported from programs that store data in tables, including the mySidewalk platform.

Dashboard - A dashboard is a multi-page website created through the mySidewalk Platform.

Data Library - The mySidewalk Data Library holds the answer to the questions: What data do I have access to? And what is this data? The data library provides insight to available data, data sources, and often, a brief explanation of what the data means.   

Data Visualization - A data visualization is any graphic, chart, table, map or other display that transforms raw data into a visual.    

Distribution Total Response Time - Elapsed time from when call was answered in dispatch to when the first emergency vehicle / apparatus arrives on scene.

Distribution Travel Time - Elapsed time from enroute and arrival on-scene for the first arriving emergency vehicle / apparatus.

Eco Devo - Eco Devo is an abbreviation for economic development. 

Edit Panel - When you open up edit-mode on a dashboard or a report in mySidewalk, the thing on the right side of your screen is the edit panel. When you add new visualizations, the edit panel changes to provide space for the edits to the visualization you are currently working on.

Effective Response Force - The set of vehicles / apparatus dispatched to incident within 60 seconds of when the call was answered in dispatch.

Equal Count - A data classification method that breaks up values based on the number of data points in the data set with an equal number of points in each bin. This method is often referred to as quantiles. An example of this method would be if you had 21 counties you were displaying divided into 3 bins you would have 7 data points displayed for each bin category, regardless of their distribution.

Equal Interval - A data classification method that divides a set of attribute values into groups that contain an equal range of values. For example, if you have 15 counties but a range from 1 to 81, your bins each have a range of 27 (1-26, 27-54, 55-81) and your counties could fall into any of the bins. There may be no counties with values in the range of 27-54 and only 2 counties from 55-81, but the data is classified to show this type of distribution. 

Geographic Harmonization - Harmonization is a statistical term used to describe the process and result of adjusting differences or inconsistencies in data to bring significant features into agreement. In the mySidewalk Platform, this statistical process is used to facilitate comparisons of Census geographies over time.

Georeference - agreeing to use our pre-loaded shapes to define your data area. Once we both agree on the shape of the data, we can start to compare data with a confidence that we are talking about similar sets of things.

GIS - Geographic Information System (GIS) is an information system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, and manage spatial or geographic data.  

Goal Tracker - A goal tracker is a data visualization for tracking and displaying progress on the goals your community has set out to accomplish. 

Hex Code - A hex code is a way of specifying a color, starting with a # sign, then a 6 digit number.  

Hover Card - A Hover Card is the little box that shows up when your mouse hovers over a data visualization. When you click on a map with a filter, you will see more information from that filter in the hover card.  

KML - Keyhole Markup Language (KML) is a format for storing geographic data and associated content. KML is commonly formatted for sharing geographic data with non-GIS users as it can be easily delivered through the internet and viewed through free applications like Google Earth.  

Knowledge Center - That's where you are right now! Our knowledge center is where we keep all the articles written by our team to help you do more, faster. 

KPI - Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company, city, or organization is achieving specific business objectives.

Layer - A layer is a dataset in the mySidewalk Platform. We refer to all datasets in the mySidewalk Platform as a layers because all our data is mappable. 

Layer Library -  The user layer library is where all the layers uploaded by your organization for your dashboard will live. Often this tool is also referred to as the “user layer library.” It can be found under the menu then in the tab called “layers.” 

Map Style - Map Style is the term used to describe the "base map" or map underneath your data in the mySidewalk Platform.

Metadata - Often described as "data about data," metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use or manage an information resource.

Natural Breaks - A method of data classification that seeks to partition data into the classes based on “natural groups” in the data distribution. 

Normalization - Normalization is the process of taking a count and dividing it by something else in order to make a number more comparable or to put it in context. When you normalize data you eliminate the units of measurement for data, enabling you to compare data from different places.

Opportunity Zone - An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed Census Tract where new private investments of capital gains will be eligible for tax abatement. Localities qualify if they have been nominated by the state and certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury through the Internal Revenue Service. For more information on Opportunity Zones, check out this FAQ from the IRS.

Pivot Table - A pivot table is a tool that allows you to reorganize and summarize selected columns and rows of data in a spreadsheet or database table to obtain a desired report.

PNG - A compressed raster graphic format, aka a file made to be used on the computer. A .PNG is an ideal format for images uploaded to the mySidewalk Platform. 

Progress Tracker - A progress tracker is a data visualization used to track progress on a specific goal or process in the mySidewalk Platform. 

Project Folder - A project folder is a space in the mySidewalk Platform where you can organize your reports and dashboards.

Promo Card - A promo card is a linking element that can help organize your dashboard or provide a connection to outside links. 

Report - A report is a single web page created through the mySidewalk Platform.

Scatter Plot - A scatter plot is a graph where the values of two variables are plotted along two axes, the pattern of the resulting points reveals any correlation present.

Shapefile - A shapefile is a geospatial data storage format. The extension for a shapefile is .shp. If you are uploading a shapefile, the .shx and .dbf files associated with it need to come too!

Static Line - A static line is a line on a bar chart or time series often used to display a goal, threshold, or an average. 

Sub-geography - In the mySidewalk Platform, a sub-geography refers to the smaller geography within a larger geography on a map. If you are looking at city data, you might be looking at the numbers for the whole city, or you may be looking at a smaller geography, such as the census blocks within the city. The census blocks in this case would be your sub-geography. 

Symbols in Search - You can use advanced syntax (or symbols) when searching

  • Phrase Query: a specific sequence of terms that must be matched next to one another. Surround your sequence of terms with (" "). For example, "total population" only returns a record if it contains "total population" exactly.

  • Prohibit operator: excludes records that contain a specific terms. Prefix your term with (-) to exclude it. Some examples:

    • total -population only matches records containing “total”, but not “population”

    • total-population matches records containing “total” and “population” (there’s no exclusion because the minus (-) is in the middle of the word)

    • -total matches every record except those containing “total”

    • -total population matches records containing “population”, but not “total"

Tags - Tags are words or phrases that help organize your data layer library. You can add tags to several layers to “group” them together and make searching for them as easier. 

Temporal Data - Temporal Data is simply data that represents a state in time.

Time Element - A time element is used to tell a browser, or in this case, the mySidewalk Platform, that the associated text in a dataset is time-related. 

Total Response Time - Elapsed time from when call was answered in dispatch to when a given emergency vehicle arrives on scene.

Travel Time - Elapsed time from when an emergency vehicle goes enroute to when they arrive on scene.

Turnout Time - Elapsed time from when an emergency vehicle is dispatched to when they go enroute to the scene of the incident.

URL - A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the address of a resource on the internet. 

UTR- User Transformation Request (UTR) is what the mySidewalk team receives when you request assistance with uploading a data layer. The UTR has your original dataset and contains information about the data that you provide.  

WCAG - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative. These guidelines provide a standard for accessible web display. The mySidewalk Platform, including reports, dashboards, and embedded assets, meets the WCAG 2.0 Level AA accessibility guidelines.

90th Percentile Response Time - The time for which 90 percent of observed response times fall below. The following interpolation methods may be used if the 90th percentile time falls between two observed times, j > i:

  • linear: i + (j - i) * fraction, where fraction is the fractional part of the index surrounded by i and j. For example, the rank order of the 90th percentile in a set of 13 numbers is 0.9*14 = 11.7. So, the “fractional part of the index” surrounded by the 11th and 12th numbers equals 0.7.

  • lower: i.

  • higher: j.

  • nearest: i or j, whichever is nearest.

  • midpoint: (i + j) / 2.

Linear Interpolation Example:

Take the following ordered set of 13 numbers: [1,3,5,6,10,13,16,19,22,23,30,31,40]. The rank order of the 90th percentile is 0.9*13 = 11.7. The 11th and 12th numbers in the series are 30 and 31 respectively. Therefore, using the linear interpolation approach, the 90th percentile is equal to 30 + (31 - 30)*0.7 = 30.7.

Records missing response times are always dropped from the dataset before computing 90th percentiles. 90th percentile Total Response Times and Travel Times are only computed from emergency responses. 90th percentile Turnout Times include all incidents, irrespective of emergency status.

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