Here’s info on everything you need to make your conference experience awesome.


The conference is being held on the 36th and 37th floors of the Willis Tower233 S Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606. Here’s information on parking, entrance, and transportation options. You can enter from any either the the Wacker or Franklin entrances on Friday, but only the Franklin Street Entrance is open on Saturday.

We have an enormous amount of flexible, open space to do our programming. You can take a look here to get a feel for it— schematics of the 36th and 37th floors, our four rooms for large sessions, the meetup row with a suite of seven separate offices, phone charging / conference call space, and lots of breakout area. We think we found a really unique place to hold a conference of this kind— one where people can form and re-form groups and really form great relationships.

37-1, from 37-hallway

Upon arrival, take the elevator to the 33rd floor, switch elevator banks, and head to 37th floor. We will have signage throughout.


We have a ton of space, and that’s a good thing, but we need to know how to get around. You cannot use the stairs— they are only for emergency. You have to use the elevator to get between floors. Here are maps of the 36th Floor and 37th Floor as PDFs. You can see them here, below, as images.

Map, 36th Floor, Chicago School of Data Days Cenference

Map, 36th Floor, Chicago School of Data Days Cenference

Map, 37th Floor, Chicago School of Data Days Cenference

Map, 37th Floor, Chicago School of Data Days Cenference


The conference is sold out at 325 attendees. If your plans have changed and you can no longer make it, no biggie— just log in to Eventbrite and cancel your order from My Tickets > View Order > Cancel Order. This is a two-day, in-town conference, and you are signed up for both days.


This conference is the result of 9 months of discussions with all of you. The topics, the speakers, and the tone of our two days together are driven by what we heard from you.

We’ve already collected lots of resources and insights from speakers and published them to each session web page, and we will be adding more during the conference itself. The profile pages for each participating organization provides more info as well.

All speakers will be talking about their experiences as well as help facilitate discussion about the topic among all of you. Don’t expect any Talking Heads panels here. We think we have a format with a great balance between structure and freedom.


We’ve hired dozens of documenters— writers, photographers, and video people. We are livestreaming and live-notetaking every session. We need you and your insights to make our time together really valuable. You will be heard, and collectively, all of this will affect our final report— a scan of the field that will serve as a model for data ecosystems across the nation.

You’ll recognize documenters and other conference staff members because we’ll be wearing large Chicago star buttons.

If you are viewing on the livestream, and have something to add, by all means hop into the meeting notes and do so. Quick links with a bit of context does wonders for a discussion.


Upon check-in, you’ll receive conference materials. Here’s a run-down:

— A custom-made Chicago School of Data tote bag (“Blank heavy canvas zipper tote bag with long self‐fabric handles”)
— A folder containing the full conference agenda, a map, and a list of attendees/ resources
— A 5.8 in. x 8.25 Fabriano EcoQua Notebooks and a Uniball micro pen
— One basic admission Skydeck ticket that you can use over the weekend or save for later
— A copy of “Beyond Transparency“, a book published last year by Code for America that includes a chapter on our unique Chicago ecosystem
— An assortment of Chicago School of Data stickers and buttons with all three units of government


The ever-important wi-fi.

Password: willistower

We have five access points and three dedicated lines for our livestream, so we should be in good shape.


We will take care of breakfast and lunch for both days of the conference, along with all of the refreshments/ coffee one would expect at such an event. Here’s a complete list of the food, including what we’ve got for the party.


We will have a party for conference attendees in the Burnham Room of the nearby JW Marriott hotel, 151 West Adams, Chicago, IL, 60603-3601. The party starts at 6PM.


Be sure to plan on being back to the Willis Tower by 8AM, where Terry Mazany, president and chief executive officer for The Chicago Community Trust will provide the welcoming remarks.


One of the most important components of the conference is the meetup session in the morning. If you run a gathering of people focused on data or technology, you are welcome to present.


After lunch on Saturday, which starts at 12:30 and ends at 2, we’ll have open sessions. Anyone can grab an office and talk about whatever you like. We’ll be done by 4.


If you have any trouble, or need to contact the team, hit us up at or Dan O’Neil’s cell phone at (773) 960-6045.