Connecting state and local government leaders

Download Our New Ebook: Challenges and Opportunities for Data-Driven Local Governments

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Connecting state and local government leaders

Included are stories about the use of data in the governments of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Kansas City, Missouri; Syracuse, New York; and New Orleans.

In government, there’s no escaping important discussions about how to best leverage data, especially at the local level. In city halls, county administration buildings and other local government offices in the United States, data guides decision-making, helps shape policy and plays a critical role in agencies delivering public services.

Some city and county governments are more evolved than others when it comes to integrating data-centric strategies, insights and analytics into their daily operations and long-term efforts to make the communities they serve better places to live and do business. While many jurisdictions need to make more strategic efforts to improve the ways they’re using data, even the governments that have made it a priority acknowledge that there’s always room for improvement.

Those have been some of the messages I’ve been hearing in recent months traveling to various government management association meetings for Route Fifty, including the National Association of Counties annual conference in Long Beach, Calif., in July and the International City / County Management Association annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri in September. And I expect more data-related discussions at the National League of Cities’ upcoming summit in Pittsburgh in November.

Learning about how one jurisdiction successfully uses data and analytics can help their peer governments dealing with related challenges and show a way forward to a potential solution, an incremental improvement or a major shift in management strategy.

For Route Fifty’s new ebook, “Challenges and Opportunities for Data-Driven Local Governments,” I wanted to help elevate a handful of important and interesting stories about the use of data in the governments of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Kansas City, Missouri; Syracuse, New York; and New Orleans.

Included are topics like the use of predictive analytics in child welfare agencies; improving municipal customer service through 3-1-1 data; engaging the community through data collaboration; and boosting transparency through publishing police use-of-force data.

Data touches so many varied and critically important aspects of what government does and how it does it. Local governments ignore their data at their own peril.

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Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

NEXT STORY Navigator Award Finalists: Sherry Schoonover and Team, City of Topeka, Kan.