A deeper dive: updating the employee earnings dataset
Open data is a key portion of our work at the Office of Innovation & Technology (OIT). We want to offer information, transparency, and key understandings to our residents about Philadelphia.
Our data team has collaborated with staff at the Office of Human Resources and the Office of the Director of Finance, including OnePhilly, on updating the employee earnings data for City of Philadelphia employees.
The City has released its employee earnings data since 2016. When the City updated its payroll system in 2019 to the OnePhilly system, it gave the team a great opportunity to create a new process for publishing and pulling out data.
The new OnePhilly system provided more detailed data than the previous system did. The opportunity for a new process and the additional available data inspired us to reflect: how could we include more details in a way that increased transparency and made the earnings dataset even more useful?
With the immense amount of technical work that went into creating new extracts and setting up a way to automate updates in the future, a large update of the data is now ready to be shared publicly.
The biggest changes to the dataset include the following:
- more detailed earnings information
- the inclusion of union information
- the distinction between civil service and exempt employees
- the distinction between salaried and non-salaried employees
The new earnings dataset includes many new fields that allow users to identify key details and fully understand the information. These new changes create more transparency and offer more precise data. For detailed descriptions of each field in the dataset, as well as important caveats about the payroll process, please read the metadata.
Why is this important?
The earnings dataset is high-value—it’s one of the most heavily used City datasets on OpenDataPhilly.
We recognize the importance of open data for many Philadelphia residents—we know that many City workers, nonprofit workers, business people, academic researchers, and more value and use open data.
Our data goals always focus on making information available, accessible, and fresh for users.